Well maintained home native garden. Photo: Carol Davit

Beautify Your Surroundings

Plants native to the lower Midwest beautify our landscapes with their diversity of forms, shapes, and colors. By using native plants, the beauty of our developed landscapes is amplified by butterflies, birds, and other cherished wildlife that are supported by them.

Native landscapes in altered landscapes and the built environment can be naturalistic or formal. The resources listed below can help you establish and maintain native landscapes that are aesthetically pleasing to you. 

Landscape Plans

Interested in establishing a formal native garden? Check out formal native garden plans for sun and shade developed by Scott Woodbury, horticulturist at Shaw Nature Reserve (designed by Janice Wiese-Fales). Here you will also find an accompanying article and audio files providing information about the plants and their maintenance requirements.

Grow Native! Front Yard Formal Sun Native Garden Plan

Grow Native! Front Yard Formal Shade Native Garden Plan

Find ideas for designing native plant gardens with these other Grow Native! Landscape Plans.

Native Plant Container Gardening:

Expand your use of natives by potting them and enjoying them on porches, patios, and more.

Native plant combinations:

Learn how to create beautiful combinations in your native landscape in this Winning Native Plant Combinations article by Carol Davit.

This article on native plant fall foliage by Mary Nemecek can help you with plant selection.

Balancing native and conventional landscaping principles:

“Plant it and they will come.” Native plants provide many ecological benefits. Learn more in this “It Starts with a Plant” article by Scott Woodbury.

Going native doesn’t mean you have to rip out all of your existing non-native landscaping. Read about Integrating Natives into a Non-native, Traditional Landscape in this article by Alan Branhagen.

Learn how to balance “wild” and “tame” in home landscapes Read about it here in this article by the late Cindy Gilberg.

Native plants for flower arrangements:

In this article by Linda Hezel, learn how to make beautiful floral arrangements with native plants.

Find more resources on native trees, wildflowers, vines, and other information to help you create beautiful native surroundings!