After touring gardens with the North Park Village chapter of the Wild Ones, I became inspired to introduce more natives to my yard. I consequently spent a lot of time perusing the Prairie Nursery offerings. Their online catalog is very helpful in choosing plants by various characteristics, including soil type. Since my yard is mostly heavy clay, this is important to me.
But what to choose? The options seemed overwhelming. And what area of the yard to target? I do not have much of an eye for design, in anything. Most of my plantings are haphazard and not very "together". How can I improve this, and where to start?
Ironically, I decided to begin where the soil is not clay - the south side of the house. The builder backfilled the foundation with a sandy mix, and the deep eaves block much of the weather, so this bed is rather dry most of the time. It also gets full sun except at the height of summer. I started a list of possible plants, then realized Prairie Nursery offered a collection for just such a group of traits - full to partial sun, dry sandy soil - complete with a planting plan. The burden of design was lifted from my shoulders.
Of course, the planting plan is not for a bed that is 36 feet long and 3-4 feet deep. This is the side of the house with the eight-foot wide gate through which I drive the car when delivering things like mulch or horse manure to the backyard, so I need to preserve what I refer to as "the lane". But I think I can stretch the planting plan out so the general design is somewhat preserved.
Here is the impatient part: I felt so excited by this improvement that I could hardly wait for spring. And then I realized, I don't have to! I ordered the collection for fall planting. It is sitting in the garage right now, rehydrating while I figure out exactly what will go where. Yee-ha!
Gotta go get started.