I’m working on a new PowerPoint (PPT) presentation on pollinators. Although I’ve done many presentations on natural landscaping, I’ve never done one focused on pollinators, so I thought I should understand a little more about pollination before I started developing the PPT. Here’s what I came up with…. [Read more…]
Most of you already know that native plants – once established – do not require the use of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides to maintain their beauty. Or that they don’t require extra watering from our precious supply of potable water. Or that our native pollinators and birds generally prefer native plants for nectaring and seed.
But did you know that there is a small army of habitat heroes around the country helping to make sure everyone is in the know? If you did or didn’t, you will want to attend the premier showing of Hometown Habitat – Stories of Bringing Nature Home featuring thoughout Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home.
The film is directed by Catherine Zimmerman. Its message: All of us have the power to support habitat for wildlife and bring natural beauty to our patch of the earth.
The film also features local Town of Grand Chute resident Donna VanBuecken and Green Bay resident Ned Dorff. Filmmaker Catherine Zimmerman toured the United States for over two years gathering stories to present in her inspiring film. Through the words of many local habitat stewards, her environmental documentary highlights the critical role native plants play in the survival of local ecosystems. Film trailer
Please plan to join us in viewing this uplifting film about some of today’s environmental heroes.
Urban & Suburban Meadows
Director Catherine Zimmerman is also the author of Urban & Suburban Meadows, Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces. The book is an introduction to meadowscaping and encourages readers do away with pesticides, reduce lawn and return their land to beautiful, natural habitat for native plants and wildlife.
There are good resources for helping us pick the right native plant for the right place on the nursery websites listed in my earlier post. There are also non-nursery on-line programs available to help with plant selection.
NATIVE PLANT SELECTION SOURCES
Audubon has a program called Native Plants Database. It’s easy to use. Just put in your e-mail address and zip code and a number of tabs pop up showing lists of native plants, what they host, local resources for native plants and next steps. It also references butterflies, caterpillars and birds use.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center‘s Native Plants program has been around for a long time. This program asks for your state and a variety of site characteristics (habitat type, light, soil moisture, etc) and then brings up a list of suitable plants. It also includes a comprehensive database of native plants which includes a variety of information from description of blooms and leaves and growing conditions to benefits and distribution in the USA and Canada.
There’s also the NWF’s (National Wildlife Federation) Native Plant Finder program based on Doug Tallamy‘s research on which trees host which caterpillars. Here you also put in your zip code and it brings up appropriate native plants and butterflies and creates a list for you.
Another program is TNC’s (The Nature Conservancy) Grow Wild. Here you pick a region and a series of icons pop up to help you describe your site which then produces suggested plants. Or, you can simply scroll further down the page and select plants based on your plant hardiness zone.
LOCAL PLANT SEARCH PROGRAMS
There are also many localized plant search resources. For example, the Missouri Botanical Garden has a program called Plant Finder. Although this listing includes non-natives, you can select for only Missouri natives by soil type, amount of light, height of plants, etc.
The Morton Arboretum has an extensive Search Trees and Plants program for both natives and non-natives broken down by a variety of site information including the hardiness zones. It also allows you to select for landscape use and season of interest as well as growth rate. Don’t forget to select the native locale.
And the Grow Native website from the Missouri Prairie Foundation that includes a Native Plants Database for wildlife besides all the typical site selection criteria.
SPECIALIZED PLANT SEARCH PROGRAMS
There are also sites devoted to plant selection for specialized gardens such as raingardens from the Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative‘s Quick Guide to Native Plants for Rain Gardens. Or pollinators from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. See their Pollinator-Friendly Plant Lists. And for monarch butterflies such as the listing of Milkweed Species Beneficial to the Monarch Butterfly developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
If you are using other plant selection programs to help you design your gardens and natural landscapes, don’t hesitate to let me know by adding a comment to this post or by sending me an e-mail.
This is the time of year native plant nurseries send me reminders about ordering native plants early. I look forward to receiving these notices since that means spring is on its way and soon we’ll be seeing the first buds on the trees and shrubs and the first spring ephemerals bursting through the ground.
Midwestern Nurseries & Landscape Ecologists
I’ve added landscapers to my list of nurseries this year. There are likely other local resources available to purchase native plants. However, when purchasing from sources which carry a variety of plants, please follow the Wild Ones local ecotype guidelines.
Agrecol LLC, Evansville, Wisconsin
Bluestem Farm, Baraboo, Wisconsin
Cason & Associates, Berlin, Wisconsin**
Dare Ecosystem Management, Sullivan, Wisconsin**
Door Landscape & Nursery, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
Good Oak Ecological Services, Madison, Wisconsin**
Hickory Road Gardens, Mosinee, Wisconsin email@example.com
Johnson’s Nursery, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Lacewing Gardening & Consulting Services, Milwaukee, Wisconsin** firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Shore Cleaners, Appleton, Wisconsin**
Monches Farm, Colgate, Wisconsin
NES Ecological Services, Hobart, Wisconsin**
Northern Native Plantscapes, Cable, Wisconsin** email@example.com
Prairie Nursery, Westfield, Wisconsin
Sparrow Landscaping, Oxford, Wisconsin**
Stone Silo Nursery, DePere, Wisconsin
Ecoscapes Native Nursery, Eagan, Minnesota
EnergyScapes, St Paul, Minnesota**
Landscape Alternatives, Shafer, Minnesota
Morning Sky Greenery, Morris, Minnesota
Natural Shore Technologies, Maple Plain, Minnesota
Out Back Nursery, Hastings, Minnesota
Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona, Minnesota
Prairie Restorations Inc, Princeton, Minnesota*
Shooting Star Native Seeds, Spring Grove, Minnesota*
True Nature Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota** firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural Communities, Batavia, Illinois
Natural Garden Natives, St Charles, Illinois
Pizzo Nursery, Leland, Illinois
Possibility Place Nursery, Monee, Illinois
Red Buffalo Nursery, Hebron, Illinois
St Aubin Nursery, Kirland, Illinois
The Growing Place, Naperville, Illinois
Cardo Native Plant Nursery, Walkerton, Indiana*
Alpha Nurseries, Holland Michigan
Creating Sustainable Landscapes, Novi, Michigan**
Reed Ecological Design, Ann Arbor, Michigan**
WildtypeNative Plant & Seed, Mason, Michigan
Ohio Prairie Nursery, Hiram, Ohio
Pioneer Landscapes, Loveland, Ohio**
*Also have other Midwestern locations
**Landscapers providing ecological services
If you know of other nurseries to add to the list, please add a comment or send me their name and their website and I’ll expand the list on a separate page.