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The Dirt-y Dozen

Introducing Twelve New Native Plants at our Nursery

Dirt. Get it? They are plants and they grow in...

Oh never mind. I'll just talk about the plants and leave the dad jokes to my husband.

Diminutive woodland species evoking images of fairy sprites on misty mornings. Towering giants just waiting to sway majestically in a breeze off the lake. Shrubs and vines and plants for wet or dry. Our new offerings will grow into your space no matter what kind of habitat you have at hand.

  • First up, a fairy house companion plant, Starflower. Maxing out at 8 inches, an umbrella of whorled leaves and a quirky many-petaled star give Starflower an ethereal feel.

  • If Starflower is ethereal, Barren Strawberry is all business. Equally short and also fond of shaded habitats, Barren Strawberry cheerfully fills in space and locks in soil making a dense colony sprinkled with yellow flowers.

  • Rounding out the spring color palette we have Jacob's Ladder, with delicate sprigs of blue flowers. This low-growing flower blooms in May, so if you are looking for a native to provide the early season nectar, look no further!

Moving on to things that are a bit taller:

  • We finally have Golden Ragwort! This cheerful yellow flower blooms early and provides welcome brightness after our never-ending winters. Great ground cover for moist areas. Mix it with Wild Blue Phlox for a stunning spring display.

  • Golden Ragwort brings the party in spring, and Grassleaf Goldenrod picks it up in summer. Not a true goldenrod, this lovely plant has flat-topped clusters of tiny yellow flowers that pollinators adore.

  • Filling out the seasonal color is Calico Aster. This versatile aster has tiny white flowers around a center disc that changes from yellow to purple, giving the flower plumes a splash of extra color.

Now on to a trio of plants that appreciate richness, and offer rich rewards.

  • Ramps, a native plant you can eat! If you think that eating a member of the onion family is less than thrilling, you have clearly never tried fresh ramps sautéed in butter. Even if you choose not to eat them, they have lush green leaves, white flowers, and shiny black seed heads.

  • Many people are exploring native plants that can be used as food. Riverbank Grape is an easy place to start, if you have the room, since its clusters of fruit are a smaller version of the grapes we already use for jams, fresh eating, or wine.

  • More often used medicinally than as food, Pearly Everlasting, has another gift. It makes excellent dried flowers. Growing in mounded clumps, an established patch of Pearly Everlasting can easily spare some blossoms to be hung and dried to brighten up the indoors and remind us of summer while the snow flies.

Now to take it up a notch. Here are three plants of significant stature.

  • Tall Coreopsis can reach 7 feet tall and gives a prairie feel when swaying in the breeze. All that height means there is a lot of real-estate for use by pollinators.

  • Red Osier Dogwood can achieve nine feet in height. It has white flowers and is a great host plant in summer, but my favorite things about this plant are the crimson stems that are the only color to be had on a gray February day.

  • At only 3 to 5 feet, Ironweed is the baby of this bunch, but its dramatic magenta flowers have a presence all their own.

So there they are; our twelve new plants.

Don't worry, you can always squeeze in a few more.

Check out the last three blog posts to see descriptions of the previous 19 new plants and kits, or just check them out in our Shop. Everything is flagged with a "New for 2022" banner.

As a thank you for looking at all the pretty native plants with me, and because I'm excited that spring might finally come, here is a coupon for a free plant. $5 off your order now through May 1 with code "Free" at checkout. Thanks for planting native!


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