Wondering What to Add to Your Garden? Try Native Plants

Jun 20, 2016

Little bluestems, black-eye susans and purple coneflowers used to cover Iowa’s landscape, and now they are making a comeback, not just as plants that thrive as a part of a reconstructed prairie but as garden ornamentals.

Judy Nauseef, a landscape designer and author of the new guidebook Gardening with Native Plants in the Upper Midwest: Bringing Tallgrass Prairie Home, says native plants are becoming more popular in landscaping.

“When I first started doing this, it was really difficult to find native plants in garden centers, even from wholesalers, but now its become easier. There are more local plants now, and I can order them from wholesalers now,” she says.

Nauseef says native plants are perfect for yards with rainwater runoff problems, common in new developments because of compacted soils. Their deep roots make them ideal to soak up water. During this Talk of Iowa interview, Nauseef talks with host Charity Nebbe.