swallowtail

It’s so lovely to finally see the blooms of spring and our kale, swiss chard, and peas sprouting in the garden. I guess they don’t mind being covered in a foot + of snow! Last year by this time we were enjoying these lush blooms. It is taking a bit longer this spring, but love to see this new life begin. The photo above is a black swallowtail butterfly enjoying our wild bergamot last summer.

I recently read this article on the monarch butterfly and their decline sadly due, in large part, to genetically engineered crops and herbicides. We have slowly added in native shrubs and flowers to attract butterflies and it’s so great to see them around the background during the summer. Take a look at some of these beautiful wildflower palettes below by Landscape architect Piet Oudulf for a little inspiration on planting a butterfly garden or maybe just a few milkweeds. (view more images here on Scott Weber’s pinterest board).

Here is a great resource from the Missouri Department of Conservation for ideas on Native Plants for your landscape.

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This last image is the High Line in New York, where Oudulf designed native plantings for the public park built on the elevated historic freight line above Manhattan’s West Side. What a fantastic blend of nature within the city.

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If you would like to add more native grasses and wildflowers into your landscape a favorite local sale of mine for buying wildflowers and herbs is the John Wornall House annual herb/wildflower sale, coming up on April 27th. They have a great selection from the Missouri Wildflower Nursery. Also, the Prairie and Wetland Center is a fantastic resource for finding native plantings and seed mixes. Would you like to know more about why growing native plants is so important? Here is a great explanation. Also if you do not live in Kansas City, here is a great resource for finding native species to plant in your area.

Enjoy planting some natives with your children and provide a welcome habitat for birds and butterflies.

– Julie