Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Photo: Scott Woodbury

Songbird Station

Songbirds are a wonder to watch in all seasons. This garden is designed to provide food and cover that encourages songbirds to nest in your yard.

Place your birdbath on a gravel bed instead of a pedestal. You can also add a few larger rocks in the gravel to provide shelter for toads, lizards and other small creatures.



Full sun, dry soil

A. Rose verbena (Glandularia canadensis)

B. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

D. Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya)

E. MO black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

F. Purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata)

G. MO primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)

H. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

I. Western sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis)

J. Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea)

K. Gray-head coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

L. Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)

M. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Shade or semi-shade, average to moist soil

AA. Golden ragwort (Packera aureus)

FF. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

GG. Crested iris (Iris cristata)

HH. Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

II. Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

JJ. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

LL. Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans)

MM. Goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus)

NN. Rose turtlehead (Chelone obliqua)

Select from the list of woody plants based on the amount of sun or shade your planting site receives.


Full Sun Shade 

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Golden currant (Ribes odoratum)
Native viburnums (Viburnum spp.)
New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)


Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Deciduous holly (Ilex decidua)
Sumacs (Sumac spp.)
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus)
Indian cherry (Rhamnus caroliniana)

Native landscaping isn’t just for the back yard! If you want to establish a formal native shade garden for your front yard or other area, this  plan can help you. This Front Yard Formal article by Scott Woodbury from the spring 2019 issue of the Missouri Prairie Journal is a companion to this plan, and contains photos of many of the featured plants. Learn more about plants featured in this plan from this audio file from Scott, and learn more about the plants’ growth habits from this audio file from Scott. The following practices apply to plantings where some degree of control is desired. That is, these design elements will help produce a garden that looks as though it was thoughtfully designed and planned as opposed to a naturalistic meadow or recreated prairie where plants grow more randomly.

Songbird Station Garden Plan