I never noticed all the English plantain until they discharged foot-long stalks capped with Churchill cigars, each ringed with small flowers like white cinder.

I didn’t notice the squirrel that must spend the early mornings cruising the back fence either, until I tried planting a peach.

Wild bits have been poking through- native germander under the trees along the back fence, clumps of native petunia, low growing with pale pinky-purple flowers.   Black-eyed Susans beginning to bud.  Probably the most obvious is the trumpet creeper, a great green mass hanging on the fence, sending up suckers in a mostly-neglected corner of the yard.  If it weren’t for the big, tropical, orange-red flowers this time of year (and the hummingbirds), I’d probably be more vigilant about knocking it back.

I’ve let a few things slide on the way to making the place look more like a completely native, natural prairie.  Morning glories began sprouting along the foundation and the fences, and where they’re not bothering me, I’ve let them stay.  Safflower and sunflower seeds winter birds knocked off the feeder are coming up, and I’m alright with that.  An aunt wanted rid of her purple poppy mallow and I obliged.  Zinnia seeds are cheap and the plants feed butterflies and can fill up an awful lot of space.  A sickly looking river birch that’d be out of place on a prairie but works well in a habitually wet spot on the side yard, a pussywillow that helps screen the back and reminds me of summertimes at my grandparent’s farm.  But most of it’s native freebies or plant-sale finds or scavenging the discount bins of local garden centers- slender mountain mint, ox-eye sunflower, butterflyweed, prairie beardtongue.

It’s coming together.

 

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