Natural landscapes... this is harder than I thought...

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, working on setting up a reno/install somewhat. I have posted about this on another thread, thought I would stop going off track on those and just make a new one.

    The plan, clean up, flatten out, take out trees, job in a wooded area in a back yard. I have pics but will post later, too tired now.

    The problem... I want this to be as natural looking and natural... naturaly(?) as possible. What I mean is natural native plants only. I go down to the local Piks and look around and ask a few questions. Tell them what I want, they pull out a book and start going down the list. OK, can you show me some of these? I think they had like 3 or 4 native plants, and most of those were "Southern Natives." That is when it hit me, this is going to be harder than I thought.

    There was one plant I liked and have liked for a while, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, now that I said that someone is going to come back and tell me that it is not native. Anyway, there are also azaleas and such that I will use and thought of putting a dogwood or red bud out there as they are good undergrowth trees. I had to bring these up to the guys, I guess the most obvious are the easiest to forget. Well... the search begins.

    OH, and if you ask me... A LOT of the plants they showed me both in the book and in person, reminded me of weeds until the flowers hit. I am hoping that they just were not in good shape being in a nursery but this is GA, the climate doesn't really allow for very NICE looking plants I wouldn't think. I don't go walking through state parks and saying WOW, THATS BEUATIFUL! Most of the time they just pass as weeds. I will have to go for another walk though now that I am looking for different reasons. Before I just wanted to be in the woods.

  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Native landscaping isn't easy. The nurseries that specialize in native plants are usually run by dedicated people who care more about the land than they do about making money. If they wanted to make money, they'd sell the same hybridized stuff that you were shown today. When you find the right outlet, the plants will likely be much less expensive than normal nursery stock, but it will take some digging to find the right place to shop.

    The goal is to stagger the bloom cycle of your plantings so that something is the star of the landscape all the time. You need to get some books on Georgia natives.

    TG: His head really is going to explode, isn't it?
  3. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    A couple more things:

    Start here:

    By the way, hydrangea quercifolia is the star of their home page, so you're good with that choice.


    The above link is the second entry if you Google "georgia native landscaping".
  4. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    One more thing:

    Learn the difference between "native" and "regionally appropriate". You might choose to plant regionally appropriate plants that come from normal greenhouses. They often have been bred to offer bigger blooms, longer blooms or some other desirable feature. If your plant choice has a cultivar name (a name that follows the botanical name), it is not native, but may be regionally appropriate. For example, there are dozens of cultivars of your hydrangea quercifolia. A native hydrangea quercifolia would be propagated from the kind you would find in the woods near you.
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    native = natural, regionally appropriate= introduced spec.

    so you want natives, that's what we heard 5 years ago, now we grow our own, you guy will learn that this is not an easy thing to do. even after 12 years beating these same streets all native is a hard road to go, you can do it but it takes time and Patience!

    want a great answer, draw in what you have available, if its in stock any place other than the sun get it and then draw in the plans, yes this is also hard and takes creativity.

    and you should see the looks we got from the irrigation suppler when ask about a moisture sensor, we ordered if from CALIFORNIA.
    to help you get a feel, we stock up plants all year long and one or 2 scape's cleans out our stock, we buy more of anything native any time we see it, we don't even walk away, cash and go!
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    deep what do you want, PM me if you have a list, we have some contacts there still and also have a......... we got some plants up there, just let me know.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Simplicity is king
  8. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Haha I'm getting in trouble for this one... Tell that to your irrigation practices. :blob2:

    Love you Kiril!
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    There is a time and place for everything. Simple landscape designs make for easy maint., less headaches, less inputs. :)
  10. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    You have to love is enthusiasm though?

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