Some of my favorite plants around my yard are the red buckeye, pawpaw, fringetree, fragrant sumac, columbine and Missouri evening primrose. What do these plants have in common, other than growing in my yard? They are all native to Missouri and are supremely adapted to our landscape and climate.
Two upcoming workshops provide an opportunity for Missourians to learn more about using native plants for home or commercial landscaping. After centuries of importing plants from the far corners of the world, many landscapers are now taking a hard look at local plants that are best adapted to our rainfall, temperatures and soils. In addition to being low-maintenance, when planted in the correct sites, native plants are most beneficial to our local wildlife as time-tested sources of food and cover. The workshops are sponsored by Grow Native!, a cooperative program between the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The first event will be held at Mineral Area Community College-Longview in Park Hills on Jan. 28-29. The second is at Metropolitan Community College in Lee’s Summit on Feb. 25-26. Each workshop includes Friday sessions designed for professional landscapers and Saturday sessions for gardeners, homeowners and small-scale landscapers. Sessions run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Participants can register for one day of either workshop for a $25 fee, which includes lunch and a copy of the Conservation Department’s colorful book, "Tried and True: Native Plants for Your Landscape."
To see full details or to register, go to the Grow Native! website and click on the “workshops and events” link. If you have questions, you can contact MDC staff at 573-522-4115 ext. 3833 or 3370.