Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuned into Nature

In nature, small seedlings grow up protected from wind, harsh rains or heavy snow, at the feet of large trees and shrubs. The seedling is mothered by the larger plants. The seedling grows, and as the larger plants die, the new tree is now established and strong enough to replace the original tree.

Mother planting can be used as a way to gracefully add more native plants to the landscape. Doyle has planted small native trees and shrubs inter-mixed with her older plantings. She plans to take out older non-native species as the new plantings fill in.

She has “mother planted” in another way. Doyle has inspired a community of native plant enthusiasts in the area.

Judy Bono, a knowledgeable native plant gardener and proprietor of The Gardener of the Owl Valley said, “ We started working with Jackie more than 10 years ago. She was our source of learning and a plant source. The quality of her plant material is so good.” Bono said, “She is my favorite person to talk to about herbaceous plants.” Jan Getgood of Meadowood Nursery, an all native nursery in Dauphin County, called Doyle a mentor.

Doyle is considering slowing down. She said her favorite thing in the world is sowing seeds. She may slow down by growing fewer plants, but let’s hope she continues to sow the seeds of passion for native plants and continues to share her experience.

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