Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
A Perfect Plant
THERE’S ALWAYS A RIGHT PLANT for a place. That’s what I’ve learned from overseeing this magazine for 12 years – and now firsthand from razing and then replanting my own landscape.
The latest example in my yard is finding an appropriate plant to seclude a tiny flagstone patio from the foreboding wall of my neighbor’s home. The hard part has been finding a plant that will reach at least 10 feet tall but stay within 3 feet at the narrowest point of the garden bed. Even though we’d pulled out some bamboo before my husband rebuilt a stone garden wall on his own, three landscape consultants told us nothing would work but bamboo.
So I hemmed and hawed and cursed and searched until I found the plant I think I’ve been waiting for. I’ll pick my Pacific wax myrtle (Myrica californica) up at the nursery next week. I’m told if I stay after it with pruning that it will not take long before it stands dense and high enough to create the privacy we seek.
Every native plant gardener has their own landscape challenges – and most their own stories about being told how nothing will work but the typical (and sometimes problematic) non-native plant used for the landscape problem at hand. Want a screen fast? Try a bamboo. A vine? Something hardy – how about a jasmine? Or better, a morning glory. I inherited one of those that’s about to bring down my fence.
This issue of Wildflower talks about choosing the right plants for many places. On page 5, “River Wide” tells how Wildflower Center ecologists recommended appropriate riparian species for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ multimillion-dollar Mission Reach river restoration project in San Antonio.
The feature “From the Ashes” (page 12) talks about how the Center is growing loblolly pine seedlings to restore fire-affected private land in Bastrop, Texas. Different homeowners there are replanting their scorched landscapes with fireresistant plants too and respecting the rule of defensible space. And “Four Seasons” (page 20) reminds you how to create a sense of place in the winter garden by choosing plants that stand out for their color, texture and form.
If you have a story to share about finding a spectacular plant for the perfect spot, we want to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll enter you to win our next Readers’ Tip drawing.
– CHRISTINA KOSTA PROCOPIOU