Spring weather has finally arrived in NW PA. I have a few vegetables and flowers started in the greenhouse and cold frames but its not really planting season. And this is the time of year I set aside to evaluate the land and choose my large landscape design projects for the summer. And this year my design projects are going to be a challenge.
photo credit: king nikochan
But while wandering the land I found a few water plants I could move to various parts of the yard and decided since I was already a muddy mess I might as well go on a Free Plant foraging expedition.
I have made note last fall of a few abandoned houses that had bulbs and a few perennials that were in need of being divided. I also know of a place nearby the Conewango Creek that has beautiful water iris and blue flag iris.
So I loaded up a shovel, spade and trowel and took an extra pair of high water boots and set out on a foraging adventure. My first stop netted me snowdrops, tulips, daffodils and Chinese Lanterns. My next stop at an old abandoned house (I asked the owners last year if I could dig up flowers in the spring) added forget me nots, violets, bergamot, iris, creeping myrtle, chinese lanterns and a few hostas.
photo credit: dysviz
My vehicle had close to 100 plants in it so I thought I would have room for one more stop. I saved the best for last. Water and mud!
Down by the Conewango creek, one the one island is the most beautiful iris plants, water iris and blue flag. Being on the island edge and in a muddy area it was time for the water boots, pails and plastic bins. I dug out about 30 plants and figured that would be enough for one days adventure.
When I returned home I put most of the plants in my nursery area I have set up for plants that need a home before being planted. But the water plants were placed in my bog garden off to the side in a trench until I could get them planted.
Most of these plants will be planted in the backyard, which is being re-designed this year, but few will be traded with friends for other plants I want. These trades help supply me with new varieties of flowers or vegetables seeds for the garden areas.
Foraging and trading for plants will fill your backyard with wonderful plant varieties, save you money and add adventure to your day. I always have a unique experience when I am out and usually make a friend or two.