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At home among the natives

Last year, I wrote an essay about our initial adventures in growing native plants. The article published just a month after we planted, and we only had small green mounds– and mulched beds– which were a significant feat in our clay-laden Tennessee soil. And even in the heat of last summer, our flowers were pretty, but not overwhelming.

But this year our plants busted out in all their native abandon– bee balm for a couple of weeks in June,¬†followed by blankets of purple coneflowers, and sweet black-eyed susans¬†for more than a month. Unlike last year, the American beautyberry has borne striking violet fruit. I managed to plant some aromatic asters in the spring, which have grown, but don’t seem to be flowering. At least not yet.

The next native plant sale is in a couple of weeks. I’m already starting to think about new shrubs.

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