Saturday, April 30, 2011

Going wild for natives

Okay, so I went a little overboard at the Wheaton Native Plant Sale today. I volunteered to help with the sale, and was stationed behind a table of brown-eyed susans, blue-eyed grass, and ironweed. The wonderful thing about volunteering for this sale, besides meeting a bunch of other crazy plant people like myself, is that volunteers are able to shop an hour before they let in the throngs of crazy plant people! Here's a list of my loot:
  • Carpinus caroliniana - Ironwood
  • Ostrya virginiana - Hop hornbeam
  • Bouteloua curtipendula - Side oats grama
  • Hamamelis virginiana - Witchazel
  • Viburnum prunifolium - Blackhaw viburnum
  • Viburnum acerifolium - Mapleleaf viburnum
  • Spirea alba - Meadowsweet spirea
  • Penstemon digitalis - Foxglove beardtongue
All of these plants are native to Illinois, so they will be able to withstand our harsh winters and hot summers. They are all also very attractive to wildlife and should bring lots of birds and butterflies to our property. Now, I don't plant strictly natives, but I do try to ensure that I have a larger percentage of natives than non-natives. And I incorporate some natives into landscape designs for my customers. By using native plants in your landscape, you contribute to the ecological balance that developed here in Illinois over thousands of years. So before you head out to the nursery for new plants this spring, check out which natives might grow in the spot you are planning for and try one out!

Mayslake Peabody Estate Native Plant Sale, Oakbrook, May 6-7, 2011 
Illinois Native Plant Society
Wild Ones
About Illinois Native Plants


  1. Hi Tina,

    i just discovered your blog and as a fellow landscape designer and mother to a 4 year old daughter (and 6 year old son) I can totally relate! I'm with you on the importance and beauty of natives, but like you, also appreciate hostas and daylilies :) great blog!