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Thread: Gardening Meets Political Correctness

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Gardening Meets Political Correctness


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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    This was funny. I immediately thought of Russian sage when I read the opening paragraph, so Iím glad to know that Russian sage really canít be identified as being from Russia. When the author moved into having to destroy plants from China, I thought oh boy, heís going to be in trouble because 3/4 of our garden plants originate in China.

    Remember when we boycotted french fries because we were mad at the French, for a reason I cannot now remember.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    When it comes to geopolitics with plants, I'm an isolationist. I stick with native plants, which means I don't have to make tough decisions about accepting/reecting plants of Chinese or Russian origin. I am bummed that it means Japanese maple is no longer a consideration for my garden, but that's really my only sacrifice. Hopefully, like the gas crisis making people think about alternatives that are good for the earth, maybe the same is true for gardening--rejecting plants from afar is ultimately good for the environment.

    Note: we have Russian Sage in our town garden that I manage. It is a beautiful plant.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    When it comes to geopolitics with plants, I'm an isolationist. I stick with native plants, which means I don't have to make tough decisions about accepting/reecting plants of Chinese or Russian origin. I am bummed that it means Japanese maple is no longer a consideration for my garden, but that's really my only sacrifice. Hopefully, like the gas crisis making people think about alternatives that are good for the earth, maybe the same is true for gardening--rejecting plants from afar is ultimately good for the environment.

    Note: we have Russian Sage in our town garden that I manage. It is a beautiful plant.
    Russian sage *IS* pretty, for large spaces. Gosh that gets me thinking about it for my Hermann yard here because God knows I could have large swaths of Russian sage. It handles drought and hot weather well. I don’t want to just go plunking some in willy-nilly however, I want a nice planned planting of it if I do it.

    If I was limited to natives in my garden I would simply stop gardening.

    The one single “native” lily I grow, Michiganense, is charming but it limps along and needs lots of babying and I’m not even sure it survived from the St. Louis move to Hermann. We shall see.

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    I might need to get some Russian sage then. We keep getting droughts.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    If I was limited to natives in my garden I would simply stop gardening.
    ]
    Well, I do my best to stick to natives.. I'll say that. I have native asters, milkweed, bluestem grasses, rudbeckia, echinacea. My one digression is balloon flower--I have a small patch of that.

    BTW, that pale smartweed came back closer to the lake. My neighbors are buying in to growing this buffer. I've been studying what's already there, and in addition to the smartweed there's Allegheny monkey flower, which is adorable. On the negative side, looks like there are small bits of knotweed and cocklebur I'll have to start yanking now. But there are lovely little barren patches here and there where I can start planting other things. I'm going to try seeds and see what happens.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Well, I do my best to stick to natives.. I'll say that. I have native asters, milkweed, bluestem grasses, rudbeckia, echinacea. My one digression is balloon flower--I have a small patch of that.

    BTW, that pale smartweed came back closer to the lake. My neighbors are buying in to growing this buffer. I've been studying what's already there, and in addition to the smartweed there's Allegheny monkey flower, which is adorable. On the negative side, looks like there are small bits of knotweed and cocklebur I'll have to start yanking now. But there are lovely little barren patches here and there where I can start planting other things. I'm going to try seeds and see what happens.
    It will be interesting to see what seeds take along the shoreline.

    I know you aren’t a purist, but you can’t grow the big flowered clematis plants we talked about earlier for your trellis. “No clematis for you! “. (said in the voice of the soup Nazi.)

    But apparently the small flowered ones that I love are hybrids of native species. Plus there is a white frothy native one, Clematis virginiana, one of the popular names for it is “Woodbine “that is quite pleasant and pretty, and here it blooms in late August. It griws like a weed here.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    When I first started my xeriscape area I went with state natives, which gave way quickly to regional natives due to availability, like the general southwest. That's worked out fairly well. My state has a program called, "plant select". They are plants that have been through trials through a local university and that do well for our climate and rainfall. Many are drought tolerant, some are natives or hybrids of natives, and a few exotics. They pick a few "winners" each year in the categories of grasses, ground cover, etc. They are fairly easy to find at local nurseries. Anymore I try to get "plant select" which are typically label on the container. I've found that many true local natives can be hard to establish.

    I think Russian Sage might actually be among the plant select from a few years ago. I suppose it has it's place in certain gardens, but it's not something I would plant. Just don't like it.

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    I have some of each but mostly natives which I have noted are much hardier and don't attract destructive insects like fussy hybrid plants often do. I have a dwarf hybrid Russian sage which thus far has stayed wee and not spread. It occurs to me that most of our prolific weeds came from other countries.

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    Russian sage is pretty but my first thought is not as drought tolerant as other sages (such as germander sage, autumn sage, etc.). I'm pretty committed to the minimal watering. Not even previously considered a salvia, it's a Russian imposter for sure.
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