My piece of land lies before me. It is intimidating to say the least, to think that I can alter it to my own design or un-design. This is a scary prospect, indeed, but not so scary as a blank piece of linen watercolor paper. So crisp and white. Would I ruin it with the first splash of paint?
Naturescaping is a lot like a painting, but with living plants and natural elements such as rocks or stones.
The earth becomes my paper. What I want to do is make an “edge” of a forest with a mix of trees, shrubs and lots of other colorful plants. I have observed that the edge is always the area of the woods with the largest number of bird, bug and mammal species. I am designing my hedgerow to create a dense barrier to give privacy, reduce sound pollution and protect against winter winds. Hedgerows often help prevent erosion, protect wildlife, and help with snow buildup.
Since a lot of plants are needed I am propagating them myself with cuttings of local species. You can do this to.
I am planting some cuttings from redwood dogwood and swamp willows in a planter. It will serve two purposes. First as a early spring time decoration for my porch and the cuttings that root for future transplanting into my living hedgerow.
It is very easy. Just prune off some young shoots from the species of your choice. Spring season is the best time to do this. Trim the stem on the planting end just under a bud. Dip the twig into rooting compound and place it directly into the ground where you want it to grow, or try it in a planter like I am doing here. I added some woodland moss to the top of mine to add interest and help hold in moisture.
Another way to do this is simply place your cuttings in a jar of water, no rooting compound is necessary. Just remember to change the water every few days, within a few weeks they will have enough roots to plant out. In the spring, a lot of native species will just root themselves. Here is a picture of pussy willows I am rooting in a jar. You can see the roots beginning to form.
Naturescaping (or nature scaping) is a method of landscape design and landscaping that allows people and nature to coexist. By incorporating certain plants, especially native ones, into one’s yard, one can attract beneficial insects, birds, and other creatures. -Wikipedia
A list of plants that are easy to propagate: all Ivy species, roses, forsythia, dogwood, all willows, hibiscus, hydrangeas, bamboos, gardenia, blueberry, elderberry, holly, lilac, rhododendron, rose of Sharon.
Arbor Day is the Last Friday in April.
Celebrate Arbor Day this year by teaching a child how to plant a tree or shrub. It would be very satisfying to plant one that you propagated yourself.