I just posted an introduction to lichen gardening, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MokOeIs3Vv0 intending to plant a 10-square-foot area by mixing them with minerals and cattle bones with a substrate of rock dust for an eclectic garden that has almost no green in it. I want it to be the first of a series on conservation gardening of an entire yard that is now a bare lawn, explaining conservational purity, biological appropriateness and not using retail products of any kind. Some of the plants I use are rare or protected which I’ve acquired through my profession so I only show them in passing without getting into them. I’ve learned we have to be respectful of retail growers because they know things we don’t, especially when advising our friends and neighbors so they can develop their own taste on what to do with their land. I segue to “land beautification” whenever they start to become their own man so I’m not shoving conservation down their throats. If there are going to be limitations make them intentional limitations (such as native plants trying to thrive in a container garden) instead of planting whatever is available which limits the intellect. For example…
- Instead of using boxwood and ivy introduced from Europe, special order European trees nobody else has like european beech, scots pine, laburnum, linden or english oak.
- If you’re going to use rock, research the appropriate minerals native to your area and collect them from a quarry instead of what the stone cutter has for sale.
- If you’re in the South, look at your neighborhood and say “Hey everyone has sugar maples, northern whitecedar, blue rug juniper and hollies. But this isn’t New England!”
- Instead of paying $200 for a dwarf Japanese maple like the one at McDonald’s, plant a Japanese black pine or a pagoda tree or kousa dogwood for your Japanese garden.
- Instead of an Italian-inspired garden with leyland cypress and Chinese arborvitae, try to get Italian cypress and cedar of Lebanon.
- Designate a wild area between plantings, crops or buildings that isn’t a cultivated native garden with your choices but a place for weeds to say “up yours” and stick it to the man, a feature whose theme is “out of control”. The way humans think this will probably require a municipal excuse as a cover story, like a septic area or shooting range.