This will be my first full summer in my new house, after renting for more than 17 years. I’m itching to be able to grow my gardens! Last summer’s tomatoes, warm from the sun, perfectly ripe, grown in my raised beds, were delightful. This winter, I’m dreaming about creating gardens for the pollinators.
I have a steep hill in my back yard. It’s not really usable space for anything because the hill is so steep, so I’m plotting a meadow for that area, and researching what native plants will grow well in this area of Maryland, and how many different kinds of plants I will need in order to be a home for the broadest collection of pollinators. I’m excited to begin, and just read an article posted in my Baltimore County Native Plant Swap Facebook group about seed collecting for native perennials. I don’t have any seeds to collect yet, so I will be looking for places that carry native perennials and seeds to plant this spring. I hope you will share your sources if you know of places.
What are you dreaming of, now that the weather has given us tiny hints of spring? Me, I’ve just ordered a seed catalog and am racking my brain to remember the bulb catalog that I loved more than two decades ago, because I still want to have those early spring bulbs popping up everywhere with daffodils, crocuses, and other early harbingers of spring! I know those bulbs won’t be helpful for our local pollinators, so I’ll be adding in some bloodroot and violets and maybe make some room for a Serviceberry tree in my front yard. I need some shade, anyway, and we seem to be deer-free here.
May your dreams be filled with bright colors, warm sunshine, and hundreds of butterflies, bumble bees, and hummingbirds!
R… If you have sunny places, as in 7 or 8 hours a day, black-eyed susans are perennial, native (state flower), pretty, drought-tolerant, and grow like crazy. They bloom from Julyish into Fall, and when their blooms wither, the seeded “eyes” attract goldfinches and other small birds. They don’t hold up well as cut flowers, though.
Congrats on the house.
Ol’ Lowell Sunderland
Robin Slaw (Author)
Lowell, I love black-eyed susans, and they are on my list to add to my backyard! It’s good to know that goldfinches enjoy them, too!
Robin, a great source for native plants is the US Fish & Wildlife Service booklet “Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping” in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Last time I checked the hard copies weren’t available anymore (maybe that has changed), but it was available online.
Robin Slaw (Author)
Thanks, Elaine. I found the booklet electronically and it’s amazing!
Dear Robin – You may know or not ,Gail and I are devotees of the kinds of gardening you favor from way back ,all the way to late 1950s. We each did extensive landscaping on our former yards and with neighbors. I have a very favorite local nursery named Alloway Creek Gardens in Littlestown PA just north of Westminster and just into Pa. The owner Barbara Steele and I had many wonderful years of exchanging plants and her offerings include many of the kinds you may find attractive and useful . I hope she is still in business. Please contact me and we can talk about possibly a trip up there this Spring when she opens. I also have leads on other nurseries locally . Would be happy to do a shopping outing with you sometime. Please advise offline.
Dear Robin again – Another thought about native MD plants came to mind this PM. Adkins Arboretum on Eastern Shore town of Ridgely MD offers only native MD plants. They have twice a year sales which you can place orders during March coming up for their Spring offerings in April and later . Adkins is both a commercial nursery and a state arboretum including plants in the field , a library ,and a conference center . It’s too much of a well kept secret. So you may find yourself a treasure pf opportunities there . You can Google it and immediately place orders as of March 3. Have fun with this one.
Robin Slaw (Author)
Hi John, Thanks for all these resources, and I’ll be in touch!