If you’re like me, you’ve probably faced the frustration of bringing home some new perennial from the garden center, planted it in your garden and then watched it wither within a few years or less. Why don’t they thrive? Well, the simply answer is that they’re not native to your area. This means that soil conditions, rainfall are not ideal. Some of them come from overseas, some from other areas of the country, and yet others are simply strange hybrids that may or may not be do well at all.
In addition to the problem of getting them to survive, they do nothing for the local bird and insect species that depend on plants, seeds and habitat for their survival. See my earlier post Why Insects Won’t Eat Our Alien Plants.
Currently, however, there are a number of suppliers for woodland wildflowers and other native flowers. Jung Seed and Plants has are wonderful collection of woodland wildflowers available that includes, Trillium Grandiflorum, Purple Trillium, Yellow Trillium, Virginia Bluebells, Bloodroot, Dutchman’s Breeches, Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Wild Geranium and Shooting Stars. A total of 9 plants costs less than $30.00 and are shipped to you as bare root plants. We planted Virginia Bluebells some years ago and they have really developed. Even the neighbors comment on their vibrant show of blue each spring.
If you’re looking for something to cover a large area, Jung also has a Midwest collection of native flowers. Best suited for areas of full sun, this mix of perennial, biennials and annuals are a great mix that will either reappear each year, or reseed themselves. They’ll also provide tons of food for birds and butterflies. There are some 20 varieties flowers in the mix that sells for about $55.00 per pound.
Again, it’s great to see providers responding to the increased demand for products that are earth friendly and easy to grow.