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Some familiar native plants


Redbud Cercis canadensis Thuja occidentalis
Red/Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Black Oak Quercus velutina
Northern white cedar Thuja occidentalis


Silky Dogwood Cornus amomum
Hazelnut Corylus Americana
Witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana
Maple leaf viburnum Viburnum acerifolia


Aquilegia canadensis Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberose
Columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Jack-in-the Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum
Geranium (wild ) Geranium manculatum
Coneflower (yellow) Ratiaba pinnata
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta


Maidenhair fern Adiantum pedatum
Ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica
Christmas fern Polystichum acrostichoides
Bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum
Interrupted fern Osmunda claytoniana
Sensitive fern Onoclea sensibilis

Grasses and Sedges

Big bluestem grass Andropogon gerardii Turkey-foot grassCarex pensylvanica
Pennsylvania sedge Carex pensylvanica
Tussock sedge Carex stricta
Bottlebrush grass Elymus hystrix

This list is generated by Give Water a Hand brochure.
!!!! MORE plants !!!! Listed according to shade tolerance!
Native plants to Consider Planting near Water
When purchasing native plants:
* Buy from local nurseries that sell plants that come from a seed source of no further than 200 miles from your site.
* Be sure that nursery plants are not necessarily from their natural areas; ask about their source
* Generic ‘wildflower-in-a-can’ packages usually contain species native to distant states (like CA or TX). These species either die out or become weeds. Planting these packaged wildflowers is not recommended. Buy seed from a local native from a local native-plant nursery instead.
Nurseries Carrying Native Plants

How to plant your native plants

1. Plan your garden

Many people like the clean, neat look of lawns and tended gardens and fear that native plantings will looks like a bed of weeds. By incorporating signs of care, such as mown strips of turf, decorative fences and an abundance of showy flowers (indeed, some native plants do have gorgeous flowers), your yard can be both ecologically beneficial and beautiful.

2. Eliminate invasive weeds and turf

Weeds and turf grass compete with young native plants and reduce their chance for survival. Keep in mind, that removal of problem species, like reed canary grass, purple loosestrife, crown vetch, and common buckthorn, takes time and requires persistence.
Before installing native plants, these competitors should be removed either by smothering or herbiciding them. To smother them, stake black plastic over the weeds and leave for one growing season. You can also use a sod cutter to remove large areas of turf.
Alternatively, a quicker way, you can spray undesirable vegetation with a glyphosphate-based herbicide (such as Roundup or Rodeo). Use caution when applying herbicide, especially near the lake. Any herbicide application to aquatic or shoreline plants must be accompanied by a permit from the DNR.

3. Plant your garden

One good thing about native plants is that you do not need to prepare your soil before planting. Plants selected appropriately will thrive in the soil conditions that exist on the site.
Next, select from containerized, bare-root, balled and burlaped plants, or seeds. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Talk with a nursery professional about what approach and techniques would be best for your garden for maximizing the success of a beautiful garden, aesthetically and ecologically.

Please consult a nursery professional for plants ideal for your specific site.

Design Firms Specializing in Native Plantings