Here’s another example of an issue that’s been bewildering me for some time. Mentee Ron pointed me to a local garden center website that’s trying to be more a regional gardening resource than simply an advertisement for their business. Which is wonderful, because as we’ve been pointing out, online centers of gardening expertise are still very much needed, and they should be local, for obvious reasons.
This is still very much a work-in-progress, but I was interested to see that they’re starting a discussion forum, inviting gardeners to submit images of their gardens, and sharing information of all types, including essays and a sizable group of plant descriptions. One of their “articles” references native plants. They start right out by saying: Though the inclusion of cultivars is often debated in native plant circles, in the interest of promoting this worthwhile trend we have included them here. More will be written here on this subject in the coming months. And then you have a very lengthy list, that, just as an example, includes all these plants: Coreopsis auriculata ‘Zamfir’, Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’, Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’, Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Rising Sun’, Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Sunray’ ,Coreopsis ‘Heaven’s Gate’, Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull’, Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Sterntaler’, Coreopsis pubescens ‘Sunshine Superman’, Coreopsis ‘Tequila Sunrise’, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Gain’, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Golden Showers’, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Sunbeam’, and Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’.
I am by NO MEANS a purist on natives, but I do get a lot of conflicting information, particularly on those flowers that are best for my area. When, for instance, I had a native plant enthusiast write an article on the topic, she was quite insistent about distinguishing between certain cultivars. (Sadly, neither of the mail order sources she indicates at the end seem to be in business.) I know other bloggers would like to have better resources on this as well. I wonder, will it happen? Is a list like the all-inclusive type featured on the Zehr’s site something we should take seriously? Whether I decide to go native-exclusive or not—and it is very unlikely I ever would—I still like to have the correct information, and sources for that information are few and far between.