Jennifer Ehlert, Installation project manager for Metro Blooms/Blue Thumb, offers tips for a garden that looks great and supports pollinators.
This article originally appeared as part of the story Beauty in Bloom in the April/May 2019 issue.
Jennifer Ehlert, installation project manager for Metro Blooms/Blue Thumb, offers tips for a garden that looks great and supports pollinators.
1. Dwarf bush honeysuckle: Low growing. “Plant in mass and it looks great,” says Ehlert.
2. Red twig dogwood: A very hardy native shrub with bright red branches. “You can cut it in the fall and use the branches as a winter decoration,” says Ehlert.
For sunny areas:
3. Prairie smoke: Low growing plant with rosette-shaped red flowers. Blooms early.
4. Wild strawberry: Makes an excellent ground cover with small white flowers. “These actually produce small strawberries, but the birds usually get to them first,” says Ehlert.
5. Butterfly milkweed: Has bright showy, orange flowers and is an important source of nectar for monarch butterflies. “This plant is very nice to mix with prairie drop seed, an ornamental grass,” says Ehlert.
For shady areas:
6. Wild ginger: Wild ginger is a good ground cover,” says Ehlert, “especially when it’s planted in masses.”
7. Jacob’s Ladder: This plant is “early-blooming and stay compact” says Ehlert. “It has beautiful foliage and small purple flowers.”
8. Wild geranium: This plant has pinkish-purple blossoms. “Wild geranium has wonderful spring blooms,” says Ehlert. The flowers are a pinkish-purple. “It can handle a dry shade, which makes it very useful,” says Ehlert. An example of an area with dry shade is the ground under a maple tree.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact Metro Blooms at metroblooms.org or blue-thumb.org.
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