This is my inaugural post for Wild about Sand. It's a blog about growing wildflowers and native grasses in the incredible glacial sand of northwestern Wisconsin.
I'm entering my fifth growing season with the native plants at our cabin. It took about three or four years before the yard was more green than brown. Growing native plants takes patience, but the plants typically reward patience with durability.
Today is sunny, windy, and about 66 degrees. There's still ice on the lake, but already green plants are coming up in the yard, which is still overwhelmingly dead-looking.
Below are photos of some of the earliest spring plants in my yard. Some of these natives were green all winter. Like pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellate):
And ground cedar (Diphasiastrum complanatum):
Others came up right after the snow melted, like Pennsylvania sedge, or oak sedge (Carex pensylvanica). The oak sedge is my workhorse grass -- it's the latest no-mow grass that people are trying, and for some reason, it loves sand. It looks a little lonely here amongst the dead leaves and pine needles from last year, but it really fills out later in the season. I transplanted lots of oak sedge from elsewhere on our property and also bought some from native plant nurseries like Prairie Restoration and Landscape Alternatives in Scandia. It's pretty easy to find.
That's it for today -- a beautiful day at the lake. Now if the ice would just melt!
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