Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s hard to say whether I like Spring, Summer, or Autumn more, but Spring is certainly the most relieving season after exiting another Winter. It’s also an exciting time for native gardening. There isn’t much happening just yet. I’ve seen signs of life from my Wild Columbine, Gaillardia, Spiderwort, Wild Bergamot, and even Grey-headed Coneflowers, but when you look at the garden from a distance, there’s not much to see.
As Spring progresses, there is going to be dramatic changes. I don’t have many native plants that will bloom before June, but even so, the garden will begin to look much different as the plants grow and fill in. Along with the excitement of seeing last year’s plants bloom again, I’m also looking forward to many new blooms. This may be the year my Purple Coneflowers, Wild Bergamot, Grey-headed Coneflowers, Lanceleaf Tickseed, and a few others bloom for the first time. The garden should look much different from last year. Along with new blooms, my newest native garden sections will have first-year growth, including Brown-eyed Susans, Smooth Oxeye, and New England Aster.
Beyond my main native garden, I’m also working to replace more non-natives around my pond garden with native plants, particularly Orange Milkweed and Purple Prairie Clover. Not all non-natives will be removed this year, but it’s one step closer to my goal of only growing species that are native to North America, with most species being native specifically to my area.
That is why I love Spring. There are a lot of things to plan and a lot of things to look forward to. I have visions of Monarch Butterflies, Sweat Bees, Bumble Bees, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Swallowtail Butterflies, Tree Swallows, Leopard Frogs, American Toads, and all sorts of other insects and animals that will come to my yard to take advantage of the habitat I created for them. Even my small habitat makes a world of difference for the species that rely on it.
This Spring, add a native garden to your property. Every native plant helps.