Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nice Find

Today was another spring-like day despite it being January.  The high was only 43 as compared to yesterday's 50s...but there was no rain today.  :)  I spent time walking the paths and looking at what I did yesterday as well as time on the computer researching about plant communities...after a conversation about nine bark sparked on WildlifeGardeners this morning.

Over the years, I've come to realize that I don't just want to landscape with natives...I'm leaning much more towards a restoration.  Even the areas near the house which will be more tailored to a landscaped look, in my mind, will at least be influenced by natural plant communities.  

Periodically, I've tried searching for "native companion plants", "growing in association with", and numerous other attempted phrases.  For what ever reason, I've had little luck finding the information I've sought researching on the web--until today.  Today, I came across this link: Terrestrial & Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Ed. which is even specific to Pennsylvania.  I couldn't believe my luck.

After scanning it briefly, I went back outside and walked the trails (paths?) over and over again thinking about what this place will become--a wildlife magnet...and my own private nature preserve (of course I'll share it with Jeff...hopefully he'll be more and more enticed to enjoy the outdoors in the coming years).

(Updated 1-19-2014) Here is another great source for me:


Rebecca said...

For some reason, I'm not finding ninebark in plant communities, so be sure to let us know what should grow with it before I run out of room.

David said...


Strange, I went back into the link (through Google Chrome, I think) and the "find" feature didn't seem to pull anything up. Going back to Internet Explorer, I found several reference to it here: http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/fikebook/17chapter6.pdf

From one section: "River birch - sycamore floodplain scrub
These are areas along the riverbank floodplain or on river gravel bars and islands. Tree species, mostly Betula nigra (river birch), Platanus occidentalis (sycamore), Acer negundo (box-elder), Ulmus americana (American elm), and Acer saccharinum (silver maple) dominate the community, but seldom exceed 5 meters in height. Associate shrub species include Cornus amomum (red-willow), Salix exigua (sandbar willow), S. sericea (silky willow), S. eriocephala (heart-leaved willow), Alnus serrulata (smooth alder), and Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark)..."

Hope this helps. :)