Why are All These People Standing in the Rain?

Why are all these  people standing in the rain?

Yard tour   What are they looking at?

Wild Ones yard tour They are the intrepid members of Northern Kane County Wild Ones on a garden tour last Saturday.   It poured down rain, but 26  people showed up, and we carried on.

The property we visited is in a subdivision of acre-sized lots west of Elgin.  A stunning yellow daisy garden lined the long gravel driveway.

Miscanthus A striking  Japanese Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis) welcomed guests into the property.  The garden was edged with a long row of Prairie Dropseed  (Sporobolus heterolepis), its fragrance wafting through the air.

Warning:  While dramatic, Maiden Grass, in addition to being non-native, is extremely aggressive–it is not suitable for smaller properties.

yellow coneflower The tall-3-4’-Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) peeks out from the back row.  Its drooping yellow petals surround a prominent, dark brown center cone, but it is not related to the better known Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

sunflower A little further up the row, Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) appears,  punctuated by Garden Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).

Warning:  While the above plants are not suitable for smaller properties,  I want to emphasize that these bold and dramatic  plants are well-suited for a large property such as this.  The owner has created  beautiful, unique gardens.

Note: My purpose in writing this blog and my book is to introduce you, the reader,  to native plants and to encourage you to use them in your own garden.  One does need to choose differently for different size properties.  In my own case, I planted many plants, that while beautiful, are too aggressive for small properties.

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