What is a native plant?
A plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. (USDA definition)
Why garden with native plants?
- providing food and habitat for wildlife,
- contributing to biodiversity,
- connecting us to our home places and helping us celebrate the things that make our regions unique,
- teaching us about the world of nature
And last, but not least, they’re beautiful!
- Backyard Gardening for Nature by Michelle Kalantari (PDF)
- Improving the Environment One Rain Garden at a Time
(Article about Marilyn Torkelson’s gardens. She is president of the Prairie’s Edge Chapter.)
Tips for Native Plant Gardeners
Go to this page to learn about: Matching Your Plants to Your Site, Preparing Your Site, Planting Your Seeds and Seedlings, Maintaining Your Native Garden, Invasive Species
Native Plant Notebook
Go to this page for descriptions and photos of common native plants. Whenever possible each plant entry lists the caterpillars it is host to, butterflies it supplies nectar to, and the pollinators it attracts.
Tips for Attracting Pollinators
Go to this page to learn which plants are most attractive to pollinators and how you can make your yard a pollinator magnet by following Dave Crawford’s handouts.
Grants to Help Fund a Native Garden
Go to this page for information about the Lawns to Legumes program and funding available from local watershed districts.
Attracting Birds to Your Garden with Native Plants, 38 pages, fully illustrated with color photos, produced by Wild Ones Prairie Edge Chapter. Available at no charge, but a donation to Wild Ones Big River Big Woods is appreciated. To order a copy, send an email to contact@
bigriverbigwoods.org or through the “Contact” page on this website.,
Photo Contest Winners
- To view Joan Brandwein’s and Leanne Phinney’s prize-winning photos, visit:
- Photo Contest Winners
Where to buy native plants
- Big River Big Woods plant sale
- Minnesota native plant nurseries
- Prairie Edge’s MN & Western WI Native Plant Nursery & Landscape Services Listing