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Fresh Starts

There’s a sense of pride and wonderful contentment that comes from sitting in a new garden: one that is only a few months old, and seeing all this beauty. I was thrilled when this homeowner asked me to design a pollinator garden for her front yard. She’s an avid gardener and plant enthusiast so I knew our visits would be great fun. She wanted to attract more pollinators and birds and was open to using native and cultivated plants in the new garden design. There was also a need to access the new garden space, move about the yard, and connect the side gardens. The result is a pollinator garden that transitions from a shadier look and feel, more attuned to a woodland planting, to a sunny, bloom-filled garden with a Brassfield fines path. The path has a soft edge, to give it a more natural look and feel.

I like the idea of balance. I’m not one to say you must only use certain plants, or you can never add a particular plant (with a few exceptions, one being invasive honeysuckle!).  If you love your peonies, keep them. If you want coneflowers, but need to have a tidier garden, perhaps it’s in the front of the home and in a formal neighborhood, let’s opt for a short Echinacea. There are very few plants I have in our pollinator garden, one that’s a mix of native and cultivated plants, that don’t attract insects and birds. Some of the most visited plants, even with our native plant offering, are cultivated and non-native plants such as Verbena bonariensis and Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’.  If these plants are good enough for the pollinators, they are good enough for me.

As I sat in the garden, adding a few Prairie dropseed grasses, a native grass that’s the host for butterflies and moths, I saw this wonderful view, (images above) a lush garden full of color and movement and alive with pollinators and birds.

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