Recently, we’ve seen an increase in attention focused on the plight of pollinators, in particular the honeybee. Honeybees are extremely important agricultural pollinators, while other native bees are also seeing population declines. The Rusty Patched Bumblebee is native to the Upper Midwest and was just added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services endangered list. Many people have been asking us what they can do to help support local St. Louis-area bee, butterfly, and other pollinator populations.
Grow Native! is a native landscaping educational program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.
Quiet Village Landscaping first learned about Grow Native! through our involvement with native planting and biodiversity events and programs throughout the Midwest, and this summer we were happy to become the latest professional member of this amazing organization.
If your like most homeowners, your looking for ways to reduce the cost of home maintenance, including landscaping costs. Keep your St. Louis yard looking good by paying special attention to the health of your perennial plants, shrubs & trees.
Add some Power Perennials to your garden – Plants that strive and survive in all types of conditions. Check out our picks for perennial flowers that are easy to grow:
Hot and sunny weather doesn’t stop coneflowers from producing an abundance of flowers from early summer until fall. Coneflowers are purple natives that are easy to grow – and are also available in while, yellow, orange, and red.
As an added bonus, these nectar-rich flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden as well!
Liatris (or, commonly called gayfeather or blazing star) is a tough native plant that produces interesting spikes of pink, white, or purple blooms from midsummer to fall.
While this plant is drought-tolerant, it prefers moister soils – making it a great choice for wet spots in your landscape (see our last post on how to handle the wet St. Louis summer).
With its silver-gray foliage, Artemisia makes a great companion for other perennials in your landscape or containers.
Artemisia is a tough plant that can tolerate both hot-dry conditions and pool soil. Just keep in mind that it needs full sun to stay healthy.
These ultra-easy foliage plants come in all types of shapes, sizes, and colors. Use hostas to brighten any shady spots in your garden and landscape.
When blooming, this fragrant perennial shrub attracts butterflies of all types. Buddleia produces nectar-rich blooms in purple, pink, yellow, white and even blues!
Buddleia will die back to the ground each year, but rebounds quickly once the weather warms up in the spring.
Add some beauty to your late-summer and fall garden with the bright and beautiful Helenium. This sun-worshiping native plan blooms in bright orange, red, and yellow blooms.
Growing to about 24-36 inches, black eyed Susan’s thrive in full sun and can tolerate dry conditions – and is also a bee and butterfly favorite! The more you cut the daisylike flowers of the black-eyed Susan, the more prolific they will bloom.
You are an artist and your plot of land is your canvas. What will you create this year? Something beautiful? Functional? Sustainable? The better you define your priorities at the start, the more you can tailor your landscape to meet your needs and desires.
Train small trees, shrubs and vines to grow up a trellis or wall. Certain trees and shrubs—including some apple and pear tree varieties—can be trained in the espalier style, growing in a pattern against a wall or weaving in and out of a trellis. There are many vegetables that grow well on a trellis, including varieties of cucumber, squash, indeterminate tomato, and even a perennial climbing spinach vine. Vertical gardening is a great option for small spaces or places that could benefit from a living privacy screen.
Xeriscaping is landscaping with a focus on water conservation. Limiting turf areas, choosing drought-resistant plants, installing strategically positioned shrubs and trees, and incorporating turf alternatives such as rock gardens all have a place in xeriscaping. When correctly installed and fully established, this landscape style is very low-maintenance and does not require excessive fertilization or attention.
Install a raised bed next to a patio or along a pathway to add a new dimension to your landscape. Raised beds can be a good place to contain certain flowers or plants that you enjoy but that have fairly aggressive spreading tendencies. Raised bed gardens drain well and their height makes them easy to weed and tend to. Consider wood frames, cement blocks, or brick, or think outside the box with reclaimed materials. Fill the beds with compost or organic fertilizer before planting, and select varieties that contrast and complement each other in height, color, texture and shape.
Herbs make a fragrant and flavorful addition to your garden space or landscape border. You may be surprised how many interesting and colorful variations of well-known herbs you may find, such as lemon basil and chocolate mint. Perennial herbs come back year after year, while some annual and biennial herbs “seed themselves.” You can interplant herbs with flowers for a beautiful effect, but be sure to remember which plants are okay to eat and which ones are strictly ornamental.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is deeply rewarding. With some research, practice, patience and a little bit of luck, you can grow some of the best produce you have ever tasted. If you are interested in growing your produce organically, limit synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and find out how to cultivate a mini-ecosystem in which plants, soil microbes and beneficial insects all help each other flourish. If this is your first attempt at vegetable gardening, start small, prepare the soil, and plant at the right time. Also, make sure to double-check how large the plants will grow–you don’t want a melon plant unexpectedly taking over your yard!
Installing native plants in your landscape have several major benefits. Many native species are so well-adapted to our climate that they require little additional water during our extreme St. Louis summers, so they are easy on resources. Native plants and flowers provide nourishment and habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other local wildlife. Choose plants that flower at different times or that produce colorful berries so that you have color for three seasons of the year and you keep a steady supply of food for your garden’s little visitors. There is something very comfortable and homey about bringing native plants into your yard—it gives your landscape a very “Missouri” feel.
We are happy to offer your home or business our expertise and professional installation skills. Call our office at 314-657-7050 or email email@example.com to request a free initial design consultation.
Great news—the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s initiative “Project Clear” offers small grants to help improve water quality through rainscaping! As MSD announces on their website, they “will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping projects, system improvements, and an ambitious program of maintenance and repair.”
Residents of participating St. Louis County municipalities can now apply for a rainscape rebate to establish a rain garden, amend the soil, or install permeable pavement, rain barrels, or even a green roof on their property. Find out if your property is included in the grant program focus area.
Quiet Village Landscaping can design a rain garden that adds beauty to your landscape while improving your property value. A rain garden is a great solution for existing drainage problem areas in your yard that hold water for hours—or even days—after a downpour. If your lawn has sections where turf refuses to grow and always looks patchy and weak, a rain garden may be just what you need.
By creating a shallow depression planted with a variety of attractive native plants, rain water can be held and properly absorbed by the soil to replenish groundwater supplies. This prevents rainwater from streaming off of your property to pollute and flood neighboring creeks and waterways, and it also provides food and refuge for native wildlife like butterflies and birds.
“I love my new rain garden. Thanks!” – Victoria V.
A rain garden is a shallow depression containing rocks and plants that can thrive in wet conditions. These gardens provide an alternative to drainage systems, attract native wildlife, and prevent chemicals used in the yard and home from polluting the water further along the system.
Perhaps you have an area in your yard that retains water for hours or days after a good rain where your lawn looks patchy and weak. That is an ideal spot for a rain garden. With the right sculpting and the right plants, a rain garden holds and absorbs water, replenishing groundwater supplies. This is a much greener alternative to allowing rainwater to stream off of your property, polluting and flooding neighboring creeks and waterways.
Quiet Village Landscaping designs gorgeous rain gardens that add beauty to landscapes while improving property value. A well-planned St. Louis rain garden will also attract a variety of birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife that your family can enjoy throughout the year. Let us install your rain garden for you and you’ll feel good about providing a habitat for native creatures, reducing water pollution and conserving our soils.
Last month, Quiet Village Landscaping took advantage of a neat opportunity to help out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location near the Sam’s Choice on Manchester. We donated materials and labor to add some charm to their store sign. We kept it green, using native plants in the design.
If you aren’t familiar with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, they bring in additional monetary support for Habitat for Humanity by offering a lower-cost alternative to the conventional hardware store, selling perfectly good surplus construction and household materials that might otherwise be discarded into landfills. Stop by one of their two St. Louis locations. For more info, check out www.habitatstl.org/supportus/restore/.