Why Plant Native?
Native plants have adapted to our soil and climate. Once established, many require less water, saving time and money. And best of all, natives provide a natural resource as food and shelter for birds, bees and butterflies. Incorporate them in your garden as you would any plant and you’ll add texture, interest, and color as well as help our native wildlife. With around 142 species of native plants in our selections, there is a native to fit almost any garden. Many of which have been sourced within 80 miles of home. Here are three of our favorites:
Carex pennsylvanica/Pennsylvania Sedge
Carex are sedges, not a true grass at all. Pennsylvania Sedge is common in open woodlands, moist thickets, and dry oak woods. It looks like attractive, soft lawn grass that sways gently in a breeze. Growing 6″-12″ tall in average soil, Pennsylvania Sedge can be planted under mature trees, The low mounds spread slowly, making a nearly solid turf of fine-textured blades and seedheads, perfect for birds. This native can beautify a problem spot all on its own. Deer and rabbit resistant, Pennsylvania Sedge compliments the bolder leaves of hosta and brunnera in a perennial shade garden.
Geranium maculatum/Wild Geranium
Perennial geraniums are very popular and valued for their beautiful blooms, exceptional vigor, and attractive foliage. The Wild Geranium is one of the easiest natives to establish in a landscape. The soft pink flowers rise above palmate leaves, bringing depth and texture to a garden. Loving part shade to full shade, Geranium maculatum does well in dry to medium soil, blooming May through June then intermittently reblooming. Its fragrance attracts butterflies while deer and rabbits keep their distance. Reseeding easily and colonizing quickly, Wild Geranium is great for naturalizing. Accent with other shade-loving spring flowers such as brunnera.
Asclepias incarnata/Swamp Milkweed
Also known as Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias is essential for a butterfly garden. The nectar-rich flowers lure adult butterflies and the leaves are the only food source for Monarch larvae. Monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of the narrow pointed leaves. This native grows 3′- 4′ in full sun, preferring moist soil but performs well in average soil. Fragrant, rose-pink flowers are held in loose umbels on long stems. Resistant to deer and rabbits, Asclepias can be cleared of aphids with a strong stream of water from the hose. The showy seed pods open to flyaway seeds. Combine with other pollinator plants such as allium, baptisia, and calamintha for an array of sunny, summer blooms.
Get the first pick and special pricing on select 2” native plants at both locations, Saturday, April 27th. Join us for a free talk in Aurora at 1pm, ‘Native Combinations to Attract Butterflies and Other Pollinators.’ No registration required. See you soon!