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Native Plant Gardens: Towson Style!

Lots of eco-creativity and catchy color combos.

The Green Towson Alliance's annual native garden contest is underway, bringing us the chance to tour galleries of photos of the gardens from gardeners who are just getting started to those who are reaching and exceeding the holy grail of native plant gardens -- the 70% mark!

This summer fun is in its second year and you can vote for your favorite spaces. Why vote on gardens? It's a way to get us all thinking about how we can do more good with our outdoor space no matter how small or big. And, if you like gardens, it's just plain fun.

Each garden is in one of four categories: 'Homegrown National Park' for gardens around 70% native plants with reduced lawn, 'Gaining Ground' for gardens with significant progress adding native plants, 'Breaking Ground' for new native plant gardens and 'Seeds of Change' for gardens improving the ecosystem and our communities.

This path shows how simplicity can carry the day. A little joe pye weed (Eutrochium dubium "little Joe'), a few ferns and an oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) shrub keeping it green!

Oh the artistry. This wood makes the ultimate eco-friendly sculpture. Rattle snake master, (Eryngium aquaticum) a perennial that grows well in sun or part sun with moist soils, adds just the right ethereal quality. Art, bug habitat and keeping dead wood on site. So elegant too.

This combination of red and coral pink is so great! Close on the color wheel and represented by easy to grow natives: scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma) and trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). A perfect combo for a summer garden!

If you have a chance, check out all of the gardens here. Scroll to the button at the bottom of the page to vote before 5pm this Sunday and show the love for these fantastic gardeners!

Happy gardening.


We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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