The Dirty Secret of the Future of Native Plant Gardening
I haven’t the time to write an in-depth post on this important topic, but I’ll paste in a short e-mail Q&A I had today that previews what I’ll be writing about.
Sent: Friday, January 9, 2015 12:52 PM
Subject: Native Aconitum
I am writing a Plant Profile for the Greater Trumbauersville Gardener Magazine on the subject of Aconitum.
I am wondering, is there a future for Aconitum uncinatum, one of the native Aconites? I see it listed as available in 2015.
Do you think it will become more widely available as part of the native plant movement? It seems obscure and unavailable right now, yet it seems to me it has potential as an American garden ornamental.
What do you think?
From: Mark Brownlee
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2015 4:36 PM
Cc: ArcheWild (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: RE: Native Aconitum
Judith, this is a very nice native plant. But it suffers from the same fate as so many of our great native plants… Lack of the proper soil
If you really look at the native plants being sold today, they are generally cultivars that have been bred to grow in poor soil or they are straight species that naturally grow in poor soils.
Hence, the commonly available asters, goldenrods, grasses, and other native ‘weeds.’ But these species comprise less than 5% of the horticulturally-useful native plants.
Aconitum is a beautiful plant, but it and the other 95% of beautiful natives, require the right soil type and this is where most native enthusiasts and even most native plant nurseries fall far short.
The native plant gardening movement will have to mature in lockstep with native soil gardening if it is going to progress beyond where we are today.
So, YES! There is a future for Aconitum. It’s easy to grow. Just needs the right conditions, starting with the right soil.
For future articles consider profiling the attached plants. Each falls into the category of being awesome, but needing the right soil.
Good luck. Call me if you want to discuss any further. Thanks!