There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Monday, June 22, 2009

Natives Now!

By Christa Orum-Keller

There's never been a better time for Native Plants!

Midwest has long been a proponent of using native plants, some might say we have been so before our time, but if ever there were a time for using native plants, it is now.

A few reasons to plant natives:
  • Native plants are preferred by the Sustainable Sites Initiative
  • Native plants are preferred by many city, county, state and federal institutions
  • They can help reduce maintenance costs, particuarly in relation to mowing and turf chemical costs
  • Most species offer disease resistance
  • Native plants can help reduce runoff
  • Deep roots on so many species make them more drought resistant
  • Native plants are a resonsible ecological landscaping alternative
  • Most native plants are winter hardy, durable and long lived
The American Beauties Native Plant program offers an easy way to help the public, landscape designers and contractors use native plants - in all native plantings, or in combined plantings. They have an excellent website http://www.abnativeplants.com/ and attractive containers and labels. And the American Beauties Native Plant program partners with the National Wildlife Foundation (NWF). The American Beauties program is promoted by the NWF. By using American Beauties Native Plants, you can help your customers obtain their NWF Wildlife Habitat Certification. Learn more here: http://www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife/certify.cfm?campaignid=

But most of all - Native Plants are BEAUTIFUL!!!

We are approaching the height of color and interest for many of our prairie species. In fact, here are just a few of our American Beauties Native Plants which are blooming in our St. Charles trial gardens right now.

Geum triflorum
Prairie Smoke
Full sun

Small statured, under-used, graceful little plant. Beautiful in flower and a peculiar little surprise which explains its name after flowering.

Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake Master
Full Sun

Wonderful toothed edged blue green foliage, later in summer, whiteish blue round spikey flowers - amazing!

Penstemon digitalis
Foxglove Beardtongue
Full Sun to part shade

Clouds of striking spikes of flowers right now!

Echinacea pallida
Pale Purple Coneflower
Full Sun

Pastel, gentle petals fall away from seedhead and float romantically with its prairie partners.

Amorpha canescens
Lead Plant
Full Sun

Delicate blue green foliage will make a perfect backdrop as soon as the blue/purple flowers open.

Silphium terebinthinaceum
Prairie Dock
3' foliage with 6-8' flowers
Full Sun

King of the prairie if there ever was one - broad, rough leaves create an impressive broad texture and backdrop for delicate folaige and flowers. Wonderful when paired with the fine texture of Sporobolus.

Silphium laciniatum
Compass Plant
3' foliage with 6-8' flowers
Full Sun

If you're lost, you can easily find the foliage of Compass Plant and you'll find your way!

Heliopsis helianthoides
False Sunflower
Full Sun to partial shade

The perfect happy yellow!

Tradescantia ohiensis

Full sun to part shade

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