Thursday, April 21, 2016

Native Plant Event at Whole Earth Center

On Sunday, May 1, 11-2pm, the Whole Earth Center in Princeton will have a native plant shindig. That's what Alex Levine, Whole Earth's master artisan of deli cuisine calls it. The official title is "Landscaping With Native Plants", and will feature native plants for sale and free advice from some of us landscaper, native plant seller, naturalist types. There's more info and a pretty photo of Alex's wildflower garden at this link.

Unrelated to the sale, some flowers to be enjoyed this time of year, native species occurring in gardens but not in the wilds of Princeton, is this Fothergilla I planted in the raingarden in front of the Whole Earth Center,

and, if I can get the chicken out of the way,

some celandine poppy. Unrelated to the lesser celandine that's radically spreading through gardens, parks and natural areas of Princeton, the celandine poppy is in the poppy family, makes small mounds that look good even when they aren't blooming. New ones pop up nearby, but not in a way that threatens to take over or spread unwanted into the neighbor's.


  1. I have a really nice shrub just coming into blossom in my yard right now. In fact I have three of them, large specimens inherited from the previous owners. I have been cutting them back so hard over the previous years that I have always missed out on the incredible spring show of pretty white flowers. This year I haven't hacked at the plants so much so I get to admire them. I was so impressed I figured I would have to finally find out what they were. After much googling I had my answer: Asian bush honeysuckle. Apparently a highly invasive exotic. Very distressing. They have to go. Any tips on a replacement would be welcome. Bonus for wildlife-friendly species.

  2. I'm surprised a honeysuckle would be blooming so early. There is a very early one with white flowers that are tiny but very fragrant--Lonicera frangrantissima. I have never seen that species be invasive. There's a short row of them down along the canal nature trail. The other bush honeysuckles, however, behave very invasively in the local forests. For replacements, so much depends on the sun and drainage of the location. I have some elderberry, silky dogwood, and buttonbush "live stakes" you could have, but they will take a few years to reach any size. Fothergilla, oakleaf hydrangia, Virginia sweetspire, clethra--those are the classic natives for landscaping. Email me your address and I'll check out the shrubs next time I'm over that way.

  3. 99% certain it is Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii. The one that is in bloom is easy to spot from the street at 99 Dempsey Ave. Knock the door if you happen to be passing by and I can show you. Will check out your suggestions!