Never Too Early to Plan for Native Flowers, Grasses, Trees

Jan 20, 2014

It’s still the middle of winter - but for some gardeners it’s not too early to look ahead to spring.  

Black-eyed susans are one of a variety of native species encouraged by Iron County natural resources officials.
Credit Jack W. Pearce

The Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department runs a program to promote native plants for gardens and yards.  The program includes a mid-winter sale, where gardeners can pre-order native varieties for pick-up in May or June.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke to the department’s Heather Palmquist about the native plants program.  

Palmquist says native plants are well-suited for Northwoods growing conditions. 

“They naturally do well in your area.  And then they offer our birds and other types of wildlife – they’re beneficial for either nesting, for feeding on, for habitat.”

Palmquist says invasive species often start out in gardens, and escape onto the landscape to become problems. 

The department sources plants from northern and central Wisconsin, as well as Michigan.  Palmquist says for native plants, local is best.   

“So we try to stay as close to the region as possible, and by doing so it’s not only promoting local businesses but making sure our plant stock is hardy and will do well in the local area.”

Palmquist says the varieties should do well throughout the Northwoods.