Journal archives for April 2021

April 08, 2021

Spring budget increase!

April 7, 2021. Fabulous developments from today's monthly Willowridge Community HOA meeting - the Board has agreed to support a $2000 operating budget for the project this year. This allocation will cover costs of perennial plants and miscellaneous expenses - such as the recently installed garden fencing and soil applications of MycoBloom - a mixture of endomycorrhizal soil symbionts called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi support root development and enhance the establishment of natives and may reduce non-native invasion.

I wasted no time in submitting mass orders of plantings targeting the shady eastern section including packera, virginia waterleaf, sweet william and wild strawberry. I also scored some celandine poppy, virginia bluebells, blue flag iris and dwarf crested iris. The first order will be picked up April 17th at the Anti B Gorman facility at the first native plant sale of the season. The second order from Prairie Nursery will be delayed until the end of May. How will I wait??? So exciting!

The goal is immediate impact and I aim to deliver!

Posted on April 08, 2021 04:37 by ann223 ann223 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2021

April perennial planting

April 26, 2021. The last week brought dramatic weather shifts including a major cold snap with a hard freeze and a 3.5 inch snow event on April 20th! The largest snowfall ever recorded this late in the season. Happy Earth Day Mother Nature! Fortunately, the snow had melted by suppertime and the weather rollercoaster shifted in the other direction over the weekend. Sunday recorded temperatures in the upper 70's and today is forecast for the 80's. I took advantage of the glorious weather on Sunday to plant the latest batch of perennials I picked-up from some recent native plant sales and wintered in my garage during the cold snap. My glutes are still burning from all the squatting, bending, lifting and shoveling! These natives were also treated with MycoBloom, a prairie mixture of mycorrhizal fungi, intended to inoculate the soil with beneficial fungi and enhance establishment of native plants.

I planted the poppy and Mertensia under the existing chokecherry tree at the far eastern end of the property in the shade. I planted two of the Blue flag iris in the stream near the ninebark as a test to assess the conditions. I created a floral feature in a sunny spot a little farther west along the walkway that was recently cleared of honeysuckle. There I placed a cluster of 3 liatris, the 3 golden alexander, the 4 smooth aster and 4 of the late purple aster with the purple aster in front, alexander in the middle and the liatris flanked by smooth aster in the rear. The remaining late purple asters were planted in a cluster around the newly planted Chinkapin oak just east of this patch in the hopes to establish and spread the colony as a shortish ground cover.

The crested iris and remaining blue flag iris were planted along the path near my house so that I could keep an eye on them - my last crested iris did not survive. The literature indicates a full sun/part sun and also moist soil which is difficult to marry in our woodland setting. I planted the crested iris adjacent to the obedient plant which has similar requirements. Cross your fingers! The blue flag iris were planted with the existing cluster planted in a previous season.

The final two liatris were planted at the far west end in the designated pollinator section (under development) and the 3 Aronia were planted in a cluster just east of them - again where I can keep close tabs on them. Aronia requires sun to bloom and fruit but will tolerate full shade. They also have a high water demand and are reportedly really attractive to deer. Kansas is technically outside of their range but I am hoping they will endure. Time will tell. We are expecting rain tomorrow which should help establish these plantings. Cheers!

Plantings:
Missouri Wildflower Nursery (Anita B Gorman plant sale, April 17, 2021)
Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) x 3 quart size
Southern Blue Flag (Iris virginica) x 5 small size
Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya) x 5 small size
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) x 5 small size
Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)x 5 quart size
Late Purple Aster (Symphyotrichum patens) x 10 small size
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) x 5

City Roots Nursery (plant sale, April 10, 2021)
Golden alexander (ZiZia aurea) x 3 quart size
Smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) x 4 small size

Posted on April 26, 2021 14:01 by ann223 ann223 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 05, 2021

Gorgeous Easter weekend

April 5, 2021. We had a lovely, unseasonably warm Easter weekend in the Greenbelt and fresh new growth was bursting out - both desirable and undesirable. I spent much of the weekend working to pull up or cut down emerging invasive species of honeysuckle and some stray periwinkle. I just shook my head at the garlic mustard which was extensive. I also watered the seedlings planted last week since it has been so warm and dry. I received one last shipment from the Missouri Department of Conservation, 10 Black cherry (Prunus serotina) which I planted Friday afternoon (4/2/2021) in the open central location of the property, expanding the existing cherry tree line west. I want to see if anything will grow in that space since there is a large utility manhole cover (?) of some sort that may be a marker of underground materials that would inhibit root formation. If it's possible for anything to grow there - the cherry will grow. For the record, I communicated with city officials involved in permitting and code enforcement for this property prior to initiating the project in late 2018 and they gave the ok to carry on planting with no restrictions. Hopefully the problems are just the critters. We shall see!

This week I will be presenting a proposal to the Willowridge HOA to support mass planting of perennials for the season. I hope to obtain an array of shady perennials including spring ephemerals and ground covers to fill the freshly cleared east end of the property. Hopefully the board agrees.

More to follow!!

Missouri Department of Conservation
10 Black cherry seedlings (Prunus serotina)

Posted on April 05, 2021 13:54 by ann223 ann223 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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