WHAT WE DO
We are not your conventional landscaper. We realize that is a bit forward to say, but we want to make sure you know what we stand for. Think of us more as mission-based gardeners or even land stewards. It is our mission to restore our local ecosystems by removing invasive plants and replacing them with an abundance of native ones. We have developed our own style of gardening that creates healthy, sustainable gardens for everyone to enjoy. Since our work is new and different, we would like to highlight a few of the things we do, and a few that we don’t.
A natural garden is a method of gardening that focuses on bringing nature back into our urban spaces, creating food and shelter for pollinators and other beneficial wildlife while filtering stormwater runoff. We do this by using native flowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs. Planting primarily by seed using dozens of species and thousands of individual seeds allows us to begin the process of creating a plant community that is low-maintenance, low-cost, and that gives the most back to your local ecosystem.
Managing invasive plant species will be important for the longterm success of your gardens, and will be a big part of the future management. Also included in management is seasonal cleanup to keep the gardens healthy and beautiful. If you would like to take on the garden management yourself, I would be happy to act as a free resource for you!
WHAT WE DON’T DO
Some of what separates us from other landscapers, is what we don’t do. Keep in mind we often work alongside a hardscape landscaper on many projects, and are more than happy to refer you to a quality team. Below is a quick list to make it easier for you to see if we offer a service you are looking for:
We don’t do hardscape installations (patios, concrete walkways, retaining walls, etc.).
We don’t do lawn care (sod installations, lawn fertilizing, lawn weeding). We like to recommend Organic Bob for any lawn care needs. We DO lay Bee Lawn - please mention this when you contact us, if you are interested.
We never use chemicals. We manage invasive plants by removing them, introducing native competition, and consistently weeding them if they return until they are eradicated.
We don’t plant conventional garden plants or cultivars. We only plant native species. We will however keep non-invasive, non-native plants that hold special meaning to you.
We don’t do management of planted conventional gardens. We only offer management of previously planted native gardens, whether we installed it or not. Let us know if you already have a native garden in your yard, and would like us to come manage it for you!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Timing the installation and seeding is important for the success of your gardens. We have two installation periods, early spring and late summer/fall. Depending on your site, you can expect to see some flowers during the first growing season, but the gardens will really start to show off during the second and third growing seasons. Managing the gardens for invasive species and editing the native species will be an important element of the project, and you should plan for at least two seasons of care to ensure the longterm success of the gardens.
WHY NATIVE PLANTS?
Tallgrass prairies are North America’s most threatened major ecosystem, with about 99% plowed up or paved over since the 1830s. By planting native species, you are restoring ecosystems and preserving countless species that might otherwise be lost forever.
90% of our native insects are specialists, meaning they require a native host plant in their life cycle. Our birds sustain their young almost exclusively on those native insects, primarily caterpillars. It will take thousands of caterpillars and insects in order to raise and fledge a clutch of young birds. Without our native plants we won’t have our beloved birds, and predators like foxes, snakes and birds of prey rely on those birds, small mammals, amphibians, and insects for their survival. All of these prey species are sustained by native plants.
Clean Air: Like forests, prairies and meadows sequester pollutants and carbon from the atmosphere. Even small plantings can help filter the air around your home, and large plantings can help to mitigate climate change.
Clean Water: Because of the deep root system of most native plants, they act both as a sponge and a filter. They help water soak down into the soil and filter out excess nutrients and pollutants, improving water quality.
Healthy Soil: The dance between native plants and animals created some of the most fertile soil on Earth, making the American Midwest the “Breadbasket to the World.” Native plants prevent soil erosion, create topsoil and build fertility.
Invasive Species: Outside of their native environments, some plants will aggressively out-compete others because they lack natural checks and balances like pests and predators. Some of our worst non-native invaders – Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, Dame’s Rocket – were first planted in gardens. By choosing natives, you can help prevent further habitat loss.
Resource Conservation: Once established, native plants can save you time and money because they require little or no irrigation, fertilizer, pruning or mowing.
*Above facts and words come from Prairie Moon Nursery. If you would like to learn more about native plants, please head over to their Resources & Information section of their website.
There is a lot of information out there about pollinators, native plants, and invasive ones. It can be hard to know where the good information is. We put together a short list of some of our favorite resources to help you learn more about what we are doing and why we are, and also to help you if you would like to take on your garden management yourself.
Here are a few of our favorite resources:
Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy
Minnesota Wildflowers is an online field guide to the flora of Minnesota. We refer to this database daily.
Prairie Moon Nursery is a native plant nursery located in Winona, MN. Their website is full of great info.
Episode 620 - Bringing Nature Home from Growing a Greener World. Featuring Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy.
Dr. Doug Tallamy is without a doubt the leader in pollinator conservation. He is a professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and has written almost a hundred research publications along with his award winning book “Bringing Nature Home”. He is dramatically changing our perception of how our yards fit within the larger ecosystem. We will always remember the first time we hear his lecture “Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home”. It changed our lives, and we hope it will change yours too. Since then, we have seen many more of his lectures, read his books, and have watched as many of his interviews as we could find. We want to share him and his work specifically with you because we believe he is the best representative of the change we are working towards.
Are you interested in creating a positive impact on the environment in your yard? Contact us to schedule your free consultation!
We start every project with a consultation. Karl will walk around with you, chat about what you’re hoping to achieve, and also identify any invasive plants you have growing. After your consultation, Karl will put together a free design concept, an estimate, and potential timeline for installation and management. We’re an open book, so feel free to reach us with questions at any stage of the project!