We had an awesome group of eight people come out to plant a shady garden at Blake’s house tonight. We had so much labor power that we had to essentially make two gardens, one on the boulevard and one on this cool retaining wall section/plant stage part of Blake’s yard.
We planted graceful sedge, sweet Joe Pye Weed, Canada violet and anemone, wild geranium, zig zag goldenrod, mayapple, big leaf aster, early figwort, bloodroot, jewelweed, wild ginger, large-flowered bellwort, woodland strawberry, and black cohosh. Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), while not technically a native plant in Minnesota, is native to several states just south of us–close enough that, given climate change and the fact that it is threatened in some places due to overharvest in the wild (info here), I don’t have a problem using it in a native garden. It’s in the same genus as our native Actaeas, red baneberry (Actaea rubra) and doll’s eyes (Actaea pachypoda).
Many thanks to our shady plant donors and garden inspirations, Julia Vanatta and Bob Bergad!
After the install a segment of the crew walked a few blocks to the ice cream stand and noticed this black swallowtail caterpillar on a golden alexanders plant in Kate’s CPP garden that we planted last year. Yayyyy!!! Here is a cool post about how even though black swallowtails have adapted to nonnative plants like parsley and dill, golden alexanders is one of their original native host plants. Very heartening to see our gardens being put to use by the creatures we are making them for!