Three square feet

If you have a sunny spot, you can have a beautiful, sustainable, environmentally friendly garden in just three square feet of space. How? Plant one milkweed,

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Red or swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, blooms in June and July, grows about 4 feet tall, and is not fussy about soil. Other choices include orange butterflyweed (A. tuberosa, shorter and fond of dry soil), or common milkweed (A. syriaca, pale pink flowers, not fussy about soil). Avoid tropical milkweed, A. curvassicava, which is not native.

one aster,

_DSC7627

New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) begins blooming in August and doesn’t stop until hard frost. There are hundreds of Aster species for sunny sites. In addition to providing late season color, all are pollinator magnets and host plants for many species of native insects.

and one native grass.

_DSC7103

Little bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium, 2-3 feet tall) is beautiful in all seasons and provides abundant seeds for birds in autumn. Grasses are host plants for the many species of butterflies in the skipper family. Little bluestem prefers poor soil; if your soil is richer, try prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis, also 2-3 feet). Most native grasses bloom in late summer.

You will have flowers from late May through October, food for multitudes of insects, and host plants for many types of butterflies. And as an added bonus, deer and rabbits don’t eat milkweed or most native grasses.

Advertisements

One thought on “Three square feet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s