Native Plant Patch for St. Patrick’s Day

We just planted over a dozen native shrubs!

I’m a bouncing bunny of excitement to welcome them home! Each one has a certain personality and color waiting to be expressed someday by a crooked branch or brilliant blossom. Already, the roots are unique – some resemble tubular artwork.

The NWA Land Trust had many extra plants from the Beaver Watershed Alliance, and shared some with us. When he dropped the trees off on Thursday March 15th, Sim said we should expect a fairly low success rate at this point, since they needed to be planted awhile ago. “Don’t take it personally if they die,” he said. A great many potted plants have died in my care, I admit. And I took it personally every time. But last year the basil, bell pepper and tomato plants thrived! Read about the Peacevine cherry tomato growth in our blog.

We aren’t exactly sure which kind of shrubs they’ll grow up to be, as there were not enough labels. The varieties available included fragrant sumac and a bunch of plant names wherein two words get squished into one: serviceberry, beautyberry, arrowwood, spicebush, elderberry. So we took these little mysteries into our life, and with love and muscles planted them in a patch at the Historic Johnson Farm. Thanks to Ryan, who dug every hole on a windy evening after his shift at Ozark Natural Foods. Planting these newcomers provoked contradictory emotions in us – a combination of “well, let’s be super careful to do this right, see how stressed they are?” and “we can’t do it right without knowing what they are, so let’s not put too much effort into it!” This is an experiment; they may not survive. But if they grow, they will be greeted daily with encouragement and support. This is our green thumb project for St. Patrick’s Day! Maybe it’ll become a tradition. Seems like a much better idea than getting drunk on green beer.


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Karen R Takemoto

Way to go Amanda and Ryan! I also planted a few dozen natives- spicebush, aromatic sumac, and ninebark last Thursday. I have learned to – pull up the honeysuckle, plant the native method. It went pretty fast planting this way and I had great help from Lay. May each plant thrive under the tenderness of your care.

Sim Barrow

Glad those trees have found a loving home! I think they will thrive in your care. Thanks for you hard work and dedication!


April update: we’ve had a greater than 50% success rate so far, with more looking alive than dead. Leaves coming out on a couple of them. Thanks again for the plants Sim!

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