When we bought our house I made the conscious decision to buy only those plants native to my region. I don't have a green thumb, mostly because I do not have the attention span to remember to water regularly Plants native to your region are used to the climate and rainfall and don't require the same amount of care that non-native and exotic plants need.
Fortunately, I don't have to buy plants unless I am looking for a specific species because every summer the Ecology Center gives their leftover plants to volunteers and staff. Unfortunately my backyard is almost completely shade and most of the plants up for grabs at the Ecology Center require full sun, although they do have a small number of shade-loving plants up for grabs. I hit the jackpot earlier in the week and got my hands on Rose Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua), Hairy Wood Mint (Blephilia hirsuta) and Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) and a bit of Sedge, although I do not remember the specific species.
I spent yesterday and today weeding and planting those young plants in a flower bed over run with Rose of Sharon . UGH. I HATE that plant. It is EVERYWHERE in my yard. In fact, the Rose of Sharon is almost as bad as the honeysuckle and winter creeper in my yard and is more prevalent than the grapevine that climbs across my trees and taller flowers. But I digress.
I'm not very organized with my gardening. I don't spend time pouring over plant books, or sketching my yard on paper ahead of time to figure out flower placement according to height, flower color and bloom time. Any prospective plant needs to meet only a few requirements: the plant needs to be a native, attractive to butterflies and birds, and love the shade (since I filled my sunny slots).
So here is my newly weeded and planted flower bed. I placed little flags around the new plants to remind me what not to pull at the end of the summer when the bed is again over run with weeds and I cannot remember what the newer plants look like. There is still some weeding to be done. I didn't pull all of the clover and the back half of the bed is still filled with Rose of Sharon plants. It will remain so until I can get more shade plants.
Hairy Wood Mint
I have 2 mystery plants. I have NO idea what they are.
I planted this last fall. I don't remember what it is, as I did not place a sign with the plant. The orange flag kept me from pulling it.
The portion of the backyard closest to the back door is in sun for most of the day and I crammed it with
Swamp Milkweed that is about to bloom.
And Common Milkweed, that refuses to bloom after 2 years.
My itty bitty tomato has gotten a bit bigger and has a little tomato brother now.
Stay tuned for more blooming events in my backyard.