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Plan Your Spring Garden with Native Plants

wild geranium
"Wild Geranium" by Cranbrook Science is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original.

While at home and with the weather getting nice, many of you may be planning your spring garden. Consider using native plants!

Native plantings boast numerous pollinator benefits, provide an array of colors and dimension to a garden, and tolerate droughts, lessening the need to water.

Here are a couple plant suggestions:

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

This perennial blooms from spring to early summer. It prefers light shade to partial sun, with moist to dry conditions. It is a favorite among pollinators, including bumblebees and ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

This easy-to-establish perennial attracts a variety of native bees. It blooms from spring to mid-summer and prefers shade to partial sun in moist to slightly dry soil.

Sand coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

For locations in full sun, gardeners can consider sand coreopsis. A late spring to mid-summer bloomer, this native perennial also attracts myriad native pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths and beetles.

Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

This showy perennial native grass provides interest all year through its color and fountain-like shape. It greens up in late spring/early summer and transforms to a beautiful golden orange in the fall. It provides cover and nesting material for birds as well as cover for overwintering pollinators. Bonus: it’s deer resistant.

Not sure which to choose? Purchase a garden variety kit from the West Cook Wild Ones plant sale.