Yesterday there was an event that happens twice a year in Joplin. Two Missouri native plant nurseries set up at the Wildcat Glades Conservation Area. We were able to purchase plants there and we could order them online ahead of time and have them delivered.
The plants were not terribly expensive, especially compared to local nursery prices. We have been looking for a sassafras tree and it’s been very frustrating. Last year about this time, I ordered one and they told me they would ship it in October. It was more like late November and it was literally a stick with a blunt cut top and bottom – no sign of roots. Vince wrote them and they said “Plant it . . it will be fine.” He got a bit stern with them and they said “It has a one year warranty. If it doesn’t bud out, we’ll replace it.” Spring came and it did nothing. We again wrote them (because no one answers the phone or returns calls left on their voice mail). They wanted us to do a “scratch test” and send pictures. I did that. They said “OK . . it’s dead. We’ll send you another one in October.” WHAT?? I called the bank because I had paid with a credit card and they said there’s only a 60 day window for disputing charges. Great.
Then Vince found a seller on Amazon and ordered two. They arrived not looking so good but he planted them and they have died. We returned those . . still waiting for a refund.
A friend here said he has two sassafras trees and he will try to dig up some of the offspring for us.
Back to the plant sale .. we had ordered several things online from one of the nurseries. The first thing we looked for was a sassafras tree but they were all out of stock.
When we got to the plant sale yesterday, Vince picked up all the items we had ordered and took them to the car. I was making my way around and what did I see? A sassafras tree that looked nice and healthy . . even had leaves! 🙂
We were both so happy to find that. They had brought four sassafras trees but only one was left when we noticed it so we’re happy to have one!
We found two different kinds of plantain – Robin’s Plantain and Indian Plantain.
There are lots of native flower areas at the conservation center and I kept seeing one plant over and over that I loved. When we came across our expert wildflower guy, I asked him what kind of plant it was and he told me it was Prairie Dock
You can read more about Prairie Dock and see more images of it here. I loved that one!
I found an American Beauty Berry and those were in the woods near our house when I was a kid and I loved them. We would crunch up the leaves and rub them on our arms and legs to keep the mosquitoes away. They have a very distinctive smell and seeing and smelling those today brought back memories of my childhood. I had no idea you could use the berries to make jelly! The article I read said it tastes like a mix of muscadine and apple. I’m pretty excited about that one!
We got two smooth sumacs and I meant to get two fragrant sumacs but must have forgotten those.
I’m so excited about these! There’s a guy who’s the local wildflower/native plant guru and he’s going to come out in a couple of weeks and work with us on what to plant where and help plan some native beds.
We are going to run out of room and have to start planting in the neighbor’s yard! 🙂
Last night I was talking to a lady who doesn’t live too far from us. She has maybe 25 chickens, 2 goats, a big garden; her husband has a large shop/garage. They’re building a greenhouse. We were talking about the native plants and our gardens. I said “We only have one acre and we’re about out of room.” She said “We only have one acre too!” What?? I do need chickens. I keep thinking as we’re planning where to put all the plants . . I want to leave room for a small chicken coop and chicken run . . just in case Vince ever changes his mind and decides I can have a few chickens!