wildflowers for rain gardens

Improve water quality with rain gardens

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These small maintainable gardens replace lawn areas with native wildflowers and grasses and soak up rainwater runoff from your roof, driveway, or lawn. The rain garden fills with a few inches of water to slowly filter into the ground rather than allowing pollutants in your yard like fertilizers to runoff to storm drains, streams, ponds and lakes. Compared to conventional lawns, rain gardens soak up to 30 percent more water. They also reduce local flooding and soil erosion. Want to learn more about the benefits of rain gardens and which plants you should use for your site?

Many of the plants found in a rain garden provide seeds and shelter for birds, as well as pollen and nectar for countless species of butterflies and native bees. Over the years, I’ve also found rain gardens promote an abundance of biologically beneficial insects to balance the local ecosystem and ward off damaging insect pests.

Here are some of the many native flowers and grasses you can use to create a rain garden in a sunny site: Purple Coneflower, Liatris, Bergamot, Smooth Penstemon, Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Cardinal Flower, New England Aster, Little Bluestem and Switch Grass.

The best wildflowers to attract hummingbirds

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It’s no secret here at Keystone Wildflower that we love hummingbirds. There is something magical about watching the tiny, dramatic creatures hover and flit about from plant to plant dressed in magnificent, iridescent plumage.

Hummingbirds prefer native plant nectar with high sugar content. Usually, the plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange and bright pink, but hummingbirds accept nectar from all ranges of colored plants. So, which native plants are the best to attract hummingbirds? We compiled a short list of a few of our favorites:

  1. Cardinal Flower – Lobelia cardinalis
  2. Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
  3. Bradbury Monarda/Bee Balm – Monarda bradburiana
  4. Butterfly Milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa
  5. Eastern Blazing Star – Liatris scariosa
  6. Foxglove Beardtongue – Penstemon digitalis
  7. Great Blue Lobelia – Lobelia siphilitica
  8. Indian Pink – Spigelia marilandica
  9. Marsh Blazing Star – Liatris spicata
  10. Monkey Flower – Mimulus ringens
  11. Northern Blue Flag Iris – Iris versicolor
  12. Purple Coneflower – Echinacea purpurea
  13. Turtlehead – Chelone glabra
  14. Wild Bergamot – Monarda fistulosa
  15. Wild Lupine – Lupinus perennis
  16. Wild Petunia – Ruella humilis