For example, if a tree falls in the woods there opens up more light there so that the cardinalis plant, for example, that has been “slumbering” will now germinate and grow where heretofore it had been kept like a Sleeping Beauty, awaiting its prince charming.
Using a Mike Tyson analogy to describe a fair fight he urged us to prepare for the planting conditions we face. Gardeners tend to be too hopeful at times…
Also plan for plant compositions that change over time such as rudbeckia – or Black-Eyed Susan - that is a bi-annual. It’s a process of succession of layers and tie in seed mix waiting to unfold. Plants grow at different rates, even in those meadows.
And look to what he terms Restoration Nurseries. Most every other type of nursery has a single goal: get the plant material out the door. Too often the plants don’t have a strong root system. They promote leaves at the top of the plant. But those scrawny, spindly plants are in fact, destined to be healthier in the long run, he told us.
Mowing seasonally cuts off invasives, forms dense cover and weeds fade out, Larry says. It takes about five years to see results for this more human landscape. “It’s sophisticated but not difficult to do,” he adds. He showed how he did this with his own birch line with native spirea manipulating the tree-shrub composition and Migrating the Mow Line so that he can modify the sinewy path out to where he would prefer it – closer to a meadow.