First St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour

We hope you’ll join us for the first St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour:

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: $20

Registration for this year’s event is closed. Stay tuned for information about next year’s tour.

Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a New England Aster.

Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a New England Aster.

Native milkweeds feed monarch caterpillars, whose populations are plummeting. Coneflowers furnish feeding platforms for tiger swallowtail butterflies and provide seeds to goldfinch. Ruby-throated hummingbirds love to visit native cardinal flowers and red buckeye trees for nectar. Native plants produce a wide variety of ecological services for native wildlife, improve the health of neighborhoods by not requiring toxins for maintenance, and help sustain our planet.

How native landscaping compares with traditional lawns
However, for years, traditional landscaping has focused on planting non-native hostas, day lilies, and boxwoods that look nice, but furnish food only to deer and slugs. All Midwestern songbirds feed their young insects, especially butterfly caterpillars. A pair of nesting chickadees need to feed their offspring between 6,240 and 9,120 caterpillars to successfully raise their young. No American butterfly caterpillars feed on hostas, day lilies or tulips. Over 100 different species of caterpillars feed on native goldenrods, asters, dogwoods and viburnums. Our native oak trees support a whopping 518 different species of native caterpillars!

Yard landscaped with native plants

Native landscaping can blend aesthetics and environmental function

You can have function AND beauty
Gardeners sometimes complain that natives are not as attractive as non-native day lilies, tulips, boxwoods and forsythia. It is not a question of beauty versus ecological function, because many native plant species are quite spectacular if you plant the right species in the proper locations. Do you want to know which native plants are attractive, where to plant them in your yard and how they will look in your garden? If so, come to the first St. Louis native plant garden tour.

Wild Ones meeting 2014

Visiting other native home gardens is a great way to get ideas for your own yard

Learn by example
The Bring Conservation Home program of the St. Louis Audubon Society and the St. Louis Chapter of Wild Ones are partnering to hold the first ever St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour. Ten different home landscapes, stretching from Clayton and Richmond Heights south to Webster Groves and Kirkwood, are being showcased for their variety of styles and maturity levels. More information about the event, as well as other upcoming garden tours, is found in the May, 2015 issue of the The Gateway Gardener (1MB PDF).

By Dave Tylka