Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Natural Gardening Elements

I have been trying to decide what would be the best plants to plant around my “natural gardening elements”, aka tree stump with accompanying roots and knees. I have had a few people suggest I rent a stump grinder and grind out all of the old wood so I could have a smooth picture perfect green lawn. I might do that for the other two of the stumps we have from cutting down poorly placed silver maples, but not this one. This stump isn’t just a single stump emerging from the ground. This stump has surface roots and knees which spread out over a good chunk of the front yard. Mowing around all those roots isn’t fun and takes a good bit of time but grinding them all out would be even more challenging.

Through creative eyes, this stump is a piece of art which took years of growth to become what it is now. Picture a forest scene with toad stools, fairies and gnomes and you have an idea of what I envision around this old stump. I’m envisioning a patchwork of different plants planted in the sections formed by the intertwining roots. The question is what plants would work in this now sunny spot with lots of roots to dig around.

My kind neighbor has graciously helped me with part of this planning by donating some beautiful day lilies she needed to move. The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) describes the day lilly as the “perfect perennial”. These easy to care for and beautiful flowers will do wonderfully in their new sunny garden while welcoming butterflies to our yard. Now I just need to find some complementary plants to join them.

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