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PLANTING YOUR NATIVE GARDEN

After you have decided to reserve a portion of your property for growing native plants, you must make a plan. Is your yard shady or sunny, moist or dry, with rich humus or clay? Maybe, your yard is a mixture. Prairie wildflowers are sun lovers, requiring at least six hours of sun a day. Woodland wildflowers are shade plants and require as little as four hours of sun a day. Observe the sun/shade patterns in your yard, and plant accordingly.

Woodland Wildflowers: Bloodroot, Jack-in-the Pulpit, Virginia Bluebells, Trillium, Wild Columbine,

Prairie Wildflowers: Butterfly Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Purple Coneflower, Stiff Goldenrod, Blaz

Another dimension to consider when planting a native garden is the amount of moisture available.

Some plants like a moist area and some actually want their 'feet wet'. Others like Spring flooding, followed by less moisture later on. And, as you can imagine, there are those who like a dry spot in which to grow--after they have become established.

Native Plants for Moist/Wet Areas: New England Aster, Black-eyed Susan, Sawtooth Sunflower, and Late Goldenrod like year round moist areas. Some plants can tolerate standing water for a short period.

Some clay soils have to be fortified by mixing them with lighter materials to obtain a good growing medium. This is especially true when the soils has been bulldozed as in a new development.

For the first two growing seasons, keep weeds down, and make sure your plants have sufficient water. After that, your native plants should be able to care of themselves. Never completely ignore them; but water and weed when necessary.

Always ask your plant source, 'Where did this plant material come from?' You will want only plants from fewer than one hundred miles of your garden. This is an insurance policy for you. Plants from other areas do not thrive as well, on average, as plants grown close to home.

All the material for this article was derived from The Tree Body Resource File in the Palos Park Library. Volume III A deals with native and natural landscaping and Volume VII discusses plans and plantings for streams, lakes, and ponds.

NATURAL FEATURES PROTECTION ORDINANCE

Many of the local Palos Park organizations have expressed their support for a Natural Features Protection Ordinance to protect what we value and love about the Village. Some of these organizations are: Palos Park Beautification Committee; Palos Park Planning Commission; Palos Park Creek Committee; Palos Park Library Board; Garden Guild I & III; Palos-Orland Conservation Committee; and the Palos Park Tree Body.