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End of 2021 Update

Hello everyone! Sorry I have not posted very much this month, but I have been working away prepping for 2022. I've been attending a lot of conferences this month (7 full days), taken a few online classes, pre-written all of your #nativeplantsseries and #invasiveplants posts for next year, tested out some new plant selection software, and got my website portfolio updated. I had some brochures made that I can leave with clients at consultations that will hopefully help me better communicate who I am as a designer.

I've been doing a lot of reading as well. Starting with Kate Orff's 'Toward an Urban Ecology' (pretty intense reading), Diekelmann and Schuster's 'Natural Landscaping: Designing with Native Plant Communities' (focusses on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic) and Doug Tallamy's 'The Nature of Oaks'. I would recommend the last one, along with any of Doug Tallamy's previous books, to anyone who wants to learn more about local ecology and planting natives. They are surprisingly engaging. Check out his project in Instagram at @homegrownnationalpark .

As for the meadow, I did get my test results back from the Penn State extension office. I was surprised to find out that the soil is more alkaline than I expected, and has fairly low organic matter, especially for a clay/silt soil. Low organic matter is actually good for a meadow, though!

Up next, I will be focusing on choosing the meadow seed mix, planning the more "gardeny" plantings on the street facing side, and ordering plants and seeds for the rest of my garden for next spring. Then I'll be attending more online conferences, getting a certification, testing out some new drawing apps, planning your free native plants garden design download, and more over the next two months. I'll be gearing up to go back into full-time design work starting in March, so I'll be scheduling new consultations in the spring. Also, my garden (i.e. experimental space) will be featured in the 2022 Carlisle Garden Club biannual tour, so if you're local, come by and see me in late June! Happy New Year to you all!

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