PART II: Creating a Module

So… how to create a module that mimics a natural plant association that thrives at a much higher elevation than where we would like to plant it.

We could take a look at the south facing plant community described in Part I where Artemesia spp. is the dominant shrub. The soil is rocky probably with better drainage than found in much of the valley landscapes.

Or, should we choose the snowberry? The native mountain Symphorocarpus oreophilus might be available but the larger S. albus is probably more widely found in Garden Centers and does well on clay soils.

What plants would you substitute?

Keep in mind that these plants will need supplemental water in the hotter valleys.

  • A multi-branched single petal sun-flowery type plant; one of those damn yellow composite (DYCs)
  • A tall cultivar of deep purple Larkspur
  • Perhaps a paler blue/purple cultivar of lupine (Lupinus spp)
  • Might be able to find some sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum) or pink cultivar of cranesbill (Geranium spp)
  • What to sub for the giant nettle leaf hyssop? (horsemint) maybe Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop)?
  • Not sure what could sub for paintbrush – bright RED
  • What grass to use?
  • Common yarrow or a cultivar? (Achillea millefolium)

1-2 matrix plants: either snowberry or sagebrush? Or, is there another plant that possibly is not very visible amid this mix? I need to go back and take a look
5+ cluster species, see above list
1-2 anchor or structure plants

drawing showing shapes of where plants will go

My first crooked not very well thought out 10×10′ module (1″=10 feet) – no species indicated

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