Plant A Patch – Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)

Posted by & filed under Barbara's Buttons, Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, PerenniaLs, Sandy Soil, Silty Soil, Uncategorized

    This diminutive native perennial features fragrant pinkish white blooms, somewhat reminiscent of pincushion flowers, on leafless, upright stems in late spring. A small plant, rarely more than 6 – 8 inches, it is perfect for rock gardens or the front of beds. Barbara’s buttons are drought tolerant, prefer full sun and dry, sandy …

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Plant A Patch: Fame Flower/ Rock Pink — ( Phemeranthus calycinus )

Posted by & filed under Fame Flower, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

    An incredibly tough native perennial succulent, Rock Pink or Fame Flower is an excellent choice for both rock gardens or container gardens. Being part of the purslanes family (related to portulaca or moss rose), it prefers full sun and dry, rocky soil in areas where it does not have to compete with larger, …

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Plant A Patch: Hollowstem Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Sustainable Landscaping

        Joe Pye Weed, long thought of as just a roadside weed, is finally coming into its own! This tall (4 – 7 feet) native thrives in moist to wet soil and full sun to partial shade. Fragrant pinkish-purple blooms which attract dozens of species of butterflies appear in July and continue …

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Plant A Patch: Purple Poppy Mallow (callirhoe Involucrata)

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Native Plants, Naturalizing, PerenniaLs, Purple Poppy Mallow, Sustainable Landscaping

        One of a handful of plants that doesn’t just tolerate, but absolutely loves shallow, dry and rocky soil, purple poppy mallow features a low, mounded foliage and cup-shaped bright magenta flowers on upright stems. Once established, it blooms profusely in late spring and early summer (May and June) and then intermittently …

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“Frenemies “ — Bugs, Your Garden and You : Part 2: Designing for Bugs

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Garden Design, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping

If anyone had told me, even ten years ago, that I would be designing my yard to accommodate bugs, I would have called them crazy. Back then any and all bugs were the ENEMY and needed to be immediately eradicated — with powerful insecticides so that death would be almost instantaneous. Today the shelf that …

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“Frenemies “ — Bugs, Your Garden and You

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, ecosystems, landscape management, Parasitic Insects, Predatory Insects, Sustainability, Uncategorized

When I started my gardening career, and I hate to admit how many decades ago that was, dealing with bugs in the garden was easy. See a bug?  Kill it — preferably with a strong, extremely toxic chemical.            Today my relationship with bugs in the garden is much more complicated. …

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Plant A Patch: Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya)

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Uncategorized

      True to its name, this native perennial will give you a long-lasting blaze of vibrant purple or pink color beginning in late July and continuing into September. Unlike most flowers, Prairie blazing star also known as Prairie gayfeather and Prairie liatris, features a spike of stalkless flower heads densely packed onto a …

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Plant A Patch: Missouri Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Garden Design, Gardens, Native Plants, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

Blooming throughout the summer, this beautiful native perennial is a lightly scented, evening blooming prize. Missouri evening primrose is perfect as a ground cover or for the front of the bed, reaching only 6 to 10 inches in height. It features 4 to 5 inch yellow blooms that provide nectar for butterflies and moths. It …

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Plant A Patch: Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Posted by & filed under Clay Soil, Gardens, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

Often maligned and saddled with a nefarious reputation, goldenrod, commonly called showy goldenrod, is an underused native perennial. Contrary to common belief, the pollen from goldenrod does not cause allergies. (That’s ragweed!) Easily grown in dry, clay soil, this full sun perennial has club-shaped clusters of bright yellow blooms beginning in July and continuing throughout …

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