Sheron Cardin's Input...: Where Will Your Favorite Tree or Flower End Up?

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

Where Will Your Favorite Tree or Flower End Up?

Tree with suitcaseToday is the day I weed out what I want to write about and what I will just toss. I have always had piles of torn pages from decorator and food magazines but now, because of my awareness gained through Active Rain and the Eco group, I have a GREEN pile and it is the tallest of them all.

At the top of this pile of greenness is an article from one of my AARP magazines and have been hanging onto it for a few weeks now. The photo depicts a tree standing on the side of the road with it's suitcase in one hand and the other with a thumb out. It speaks volumes to me of our grave global warming situation even though it makes me laugh every time I see it.

I often think about our early blooming trees here in the San Joaquin Valley and how fragile fruit and vegetables are. The farmers fear frost every winter and early rainfall in the spring. The weather spells out success or failure every year for them.

This picture epitomizes the fear for the future of our farms and landscapes in general...

I know what you are thinking and I suppose vegetation has been moving around since the beginning of time, but what used to be a gradual migration has accelerated dramatically and never before were there businesses and families/towns/cultures so dependent upon what is produced on their land for survival.

The article points out the concerns of the ranchers wanting to know if there will be grass for hard will it be to move those cows? How about nursery owners and botanists who make a living growing flowers for special occasions, what will they do when the land is too hot...use the empty cow pastures? How IS this all going to work out???

What I hadn't considered was how extreme weather conditions give adaptable plants an edge, and some of the most adaptable plants can be trouble. Hundreds of plants are on U.S watch lists because of invasive tendencies. Among them: 

  1. Kudze - Visitors to the 1876 Centennial Exposition if Philadelphia found this Japanese cousin to the pea charming. It's now rampant in the South 
  2. Purple loosestrife - Its blossoms may be hard to resist but loosestrife is reviled in most of the nation, where it invades wetland and crowds out native vegetation.
  3. Pampas grass - Dramatic plumes make this a real prize in Connecticut, but in southern Californa it spreads vigorously and catches fire easily.
  4. Spotted water hemlock - It looks like Queen Anne's lace, but this carrot relative spreads rapidly in waterways and exudes a toxic sap. In most of the Southwest it's considered a noxious weed.
 Kudzu    Purple Loosestrife   Pampas grass   Spotted water hemlock
Now if they can make fuel out of these plants, the scientist will really have something. Any shift in your area of the country?

Footnote: 28 states could lose an official flower or tree to climate change, according to the National Wildlife Federation



Comment balloon 5 commentsSheron Cardin • March 11 2008 11:11AM


Sheron, I'm sure there are vegetation shifts here, but because there is so much non-native flora here in FL I'm not sure I would be able to tell what is invading and what is not.  I do know that the developers are raping thousands of acres here, distroying native Florida plants at an alarming rate, leaving room for the usurpers to come in and take over.  One problem we've had here for many years is the Brazilian Pepper tree.  When it moves in it takes over, choking out everything else.  I will assume that as the climate warms, that is one species that will thrive.  And there is something that is similar the Kudze that I've recently seen engulfing trees and fences here, so maybe that plant is part of the vegetation shift.  Who knows?  All I know is that there are very subtle signs all around, indicating something is not right.
Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) almost 12 years ago
Sheron, Gee, I honestly don't know what plant life is being affected here by global warming....or if any are, yet.  Your flora and fauna don't look familiar, I don't know if we have those plants here.  Seems like I need to brush up on horticulture!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 12 years ago

Terry - you always amaze me with your savvy and up to date knowledge. I don't know how any plants are still standing in Florida with all the hurricane's you guys have. And in California I am still waiting for swarms of killer bees from Africa to kill us off.

Carole - I will split my piles of information with you and it won't take long before you are an expert. If only I could retain all that I read ;-0

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago

Hi Sheron - great post! My Aunt and Uncle relocated from Michigan to Arizona about 30+ years ago because the pollen and humidity in Michigan created great breathing problems. Everything was great in Arizona for  about 10 or 12 years. The breathing problems returned....

It was attributed to all the people relocating from Michigan bringing their "favorite" plants with them -- it changed the environment.

Your post is very smart and I am glad you dug it out of your pile! We need to remind people "Native" plants make sense!!! We can, and do, have an effect on our environment!

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) almost 12 years ago
Mary - that is really shocking about AZ...even Californians go there to retire in the arid climate. Ripples have become waves.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago