If you’d love to have a landscape that’s suited to our Missouri climate a native plant garden is a great choice. Native plants are suited for our area in many ways. The late spring frosts or mid-summer droughts common to our fitful and unpredictable Missouri climate can quickly kill plants that weren’t meant for our area. The roots of native plants can dig through tough clay soils, they use and need less water and are excellent for erosion control. They’ll also attract all sorts of interesting wildlife from birds to butterflies to Mr. Toad that lives under your porch.
Some may think that native plants will make their landscapes look messy and overgrown but that’s far from the case. Colorful varieties of native plants include Purple Coneflower, Western Sunflower and bright yellow Coreopsis. Prairie Blazing Star and Butterfly Weed can add shots of purple, red and yellow to your yard as well as bring butterflies.
Hummingbirds love the reds of Cardinal Flower and native Honeysuckles. For foliage interest native grasses like Big Bluestem and Indian Grass add summer interest and cover for wildlife in the winter. Add an Ostrich Fern for its delicate but tough fronds that will add beauty to any area with open shade.
Trees like the Serviceberry, Redbud and Dogwood have long been treasured for spring flowers and fall beauty. There’s a reason you see them along highways and in wooded areas.
Native plants can also help conserve water and reduce using city resources to keep plants alive. Rain gardens allow for 30% more rainwater absorption than a comparable size area of turf and allows for the slow absorption of water into the ground instead of run-off into a storm drain. Plants such as Culver’s Root, Cardinal Flower or Lobelia add color and interest to these gardens.
Keeping your native plant garden weed free can be a challenge, after all, weeds are native too! To keep your lawn from encroaching into your landscaping efforts consider concrete curbing. Not only does it keep weeds and grass at bay it’s completely customizable. You can add a lovely, curving border to your native plant garden that will mimic the lazy streams or rolling hills of a prairie landscape. Olympic Lawn and Landscape can add beautiful and durable concrete curbing to your garden beds, driveways or any other area you’d like to highlight. Our curbing is made from quality materials, built to last, and add interest to any landscape.
For more information on native plants visit www.grownative.org