Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Landscaping with Natives

The summer wildflowers are all that's left from a great Spring season.  There are lots of sunflowers, a few roses and yarrow, but that's most of it.  As you look out on the mountain, though you can get some good ideas of how to landscape your yard with native plants , which are more drought-tolerant and will give you some color after the spring blooms are gone.

A lot of these summer flowers leave their skeletons behind in the fall, but they can be interesting even as the snow falls on them.  We have several Black-eyed Susans and condflowers that come up each year which give us lots of flowers through the heat, but are interesting after they've dried, too.  

We planted some Little Bluestem a couple years ago.  This time of year it's only about 6" tall, but it will get up to 18" in the Fall and turns a deep orangish red.  If you have a bigger area, Big Bluestem will grow to 4-6', especially if it's getting some water!  

One smaller wildflower that comes in lots of varieties is the Buckwheat family.  We have several on Green Mountain.  The one that's blooming now is James Buckwheat (Eriogonum jamesii).  It's gold flowers are on an umbel, so they have a lot of color in a small area.  The other I'd recommend for a yard is Sulfurflower (Eriogonum umbellatum).  It blooms earlier, but both of these flowers keep their shape after they've gone to seed, and the plant turns a rust color that's still attractive. 
James Buckwheat

There are others I've mentioned before--Prairie Coneflower (also known as Mexican Hat in nurseries), Blanketflower, and Purple Prairie Clover that can give you Summer flowers and an interesting Fall and Winter garden, too.

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