Today, I was given an opportunity to lead a table topics conversation in the Lynnhurst Neighborhood.  There were many enthusiastic gardeners interested in learning about planting boulevards, and the broad spectrum of questions informed the discussion.

  • What grows well in a highly trafficked, salt laden piece of ground?
  • Can I grow food on my boulevard?
  • Are there any restrictions to what I can do on my boulevard?
  • Why should I consider native plants?
  • How much do I need to do to the soil before I plant?
  • Where should I source my plants?
There were other thoughtful questions, but these capture the essence of the discussions.  The process of creating a garden always begins with good planning.  That process includes the following:
  • Create a scaled drawing of your boulevard.
  • Check local codes for a list of opportunities and limitations.  Simply google City of Minneapolis Boulevard Codes.
  • Get a soil test completed, particularly if you are going to grow food and/or ornamental perennials and grasses which require greater managment strategies than native plants.  The U of M Soil Science department walks you through the process in their website.
  • Think about the desired look you want on your boulevard and begin selecting plants based upon the quantity of sun the area receives; the moisture levels; and soils of the area.
  • Create groups of each perennial, and be conscious of bloom time, so as to create waves of interest throughout the year for you, your neighbors and the pollinators.
  • Make certain to include pathways for pedestrians and for you from which to maintain the boulevard garden.
  • Prepare a boulevard by mechanically removing sod and weeds.
  • Add approximately a 1" layer of compost to the surface of the boulevard to enhance organic matter and soil nutrition.
  • Plant according to your plan
  • Mulch the space with shredded hardwood to reduce weed growth, reduce soil temperatures and to help minimize water loss.
There were a number of resources I recommended.  The books included:
Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota by Lynn Steiner
Pollinators of Native Plants by Heather Holm
Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten
 
I also shared a table I created of native plants which will do well in various boulevard conditions.  That table is attached here:

BOULEVARD POSSIBILITIES

 

 

 

BOTANICAL NAME

COMMON NAME

SIZE

SITE CONSIDERATIONS

COMPANIONS (some listed not native)

Allium stellatum (I)

Prairie Onion

18"

FS/PS; Moist to Mesic; Sandy

W. Petunia; Coneflower; Phlox

Antennaria neglecta (W, I, S)

Pussytoes

3-16"

FS best; Dry; poor well drained

Pasque Flr; Cinquefoil; Spring Bulbs

Aquilegia canadensis (I, W, B)

Wild Columbine

12-24"

FS to almost FSH; dry; well drnd

W. Onion; Prairie Smoke; W. Geranium

Asclepias tuberosa (I)

Butterfly Flower

1-3'

FS/LS; moist or dry soils

Liatris; Aster; Prpl Prairie Flr; Salvias

Aster cordifolius (I)

Heart-leaved Aster

2-3'

PS/SH; Avg, moist & dry

Alumroot; Amsonia; grasses

Aster ericoides (I)

Heath Aster

1-3'

FS; rich,moist soil (clay & alkalin)

Goldenrods; grasses; Oxeye; Gentian

Aster laevis (I)

Smooth Aster

2-3'

FS/LS; moist, well drained soils

Goldenrods; grasses; Oxeye; Gentian

Aster oblongifolius (I)

Aromatic Aster

12-24"

FS; Drought tolerant

Goldenrods; grasses; Oxeye; Gentian

Aster sericeus (I)

Silky Aster

12-24"

FS/LS; Average soils

Prairie gardens or mixed borders

Blephilia ciliata (I)

Downy Wood Mint

1-3'

PS/LSH; moist to mesic

Woodland edge plants; a bee magnet

Campanula americana (I, S rare)

Tall Bellflower

2-5'

PS/SH; Sand, loam or clay

Biennial; Sweet Joe Pye Weed; Wild Rye

Campanula rotundifolia (I)

Harebells

6-18"

FS; well-drained soils

Pussytoes; Allium; Columbine; C. thymes

Chamaecrista fasciculata (I)

Partridge Pea

6"-24"

FS; avg to dry; (clay/sand ok)

Grasses; spreader & nitrogen fixer

Coreopsis palmata (I)

Coreopsis

2-3'

FS/LS; moist or dry soils

Butterfly weed; w. bergamot; pr. Clover

Dalea candidum (I, Woccasional)

White Prairie Clover

3-4'

FS; moist to dry soils

W. Bergamot; leadplant; coreopsis; onion

Dalea purpureum (I)

Purple Prairie Clover

2-3'

FS; moist to dry soils

W. Bergamot; leadplant; coreopsis; onion

Desmodium canadense (I, B)

Canada tick trefoil

2-4'

FS/PS; Moist to Mesic (clay)

Leadplant; Coreopsis; Butterfly Wd; Genti

Echinacea  pallida (I)

Pale Purple Coneflower

2-3'

FS/PS; Dry to Medium

Black-eyed Susan; Bergamot; Coreopsis

Echinacea purpurea (I, A)

Purple Coneflower

2-5'

FS/PS; Dry to Medium

Black-eyed Susan; Bergamot; Coreopsis

Gaillardia aristata (I)

Blanket Flower

18-24"

FS; Average to poor soils

Coreopsis; Butterfly Weed & sngle colr flr

Geranium maculatum (I)

Wild Geranium

6-16"

PS/LSH; moist rich soils

Golden Alexanders; Columbine, Phlox

Geum triflorum (I)

Prairie Smoke

6-16"

FS/LSH; Dry, avg, well drained

Pasque flr; Phlox; Columbine; ButterflyWd

Heterothera villosa (I)

Golden Aster

0-12"

FS; Dry

Border or groundcover plant

Heuchera richardsonii (I)

Alumroot

1-2'

FS/PSH; Dry to medium (clay)

Allium; grasses

Liatris cylindrica (I)

Cylindric Blazingstar

8-24"

FS; Dry and limey soils

Culver's root; Eryngium; Coneflr; Mlkweed

Liatris punctata (I)

Dotted Blazingstar

8-14"

FS; Dry and droughty

Culver's root; Eryngium; Coneflr; Mlkweed

Lobelia siphilitica (I)

Great Blue Lobelia

1-3'

FS/PS; Moist to wet soils

Blue flags; Autumn Sneezeweed

Lobelia spicata (I)

Pale-Spiked Lobelia

24-40"

FS/LSH; Dry poor soils; biennial

Blue flags; Autumn Sneezeweed

Lupinus perennis (I)

Wild Lupine

15-30"

FS/LSH; Dry, slightly acidic; wdrn

Spiderworts; Blazing Stars; Grasses

Monarda fistulosa (I, B)

Wild Bergamot

2-4'

FS/LSH; Avg to rich well drained

Rudbeckia; Liatris; Butterfly Weed

Penstemon digitalis (I, B)

Smooth Penstemon

2-3'

FS/PS; Dry/moist; Sand/loam/cly

Lupine, W. Geranium; Yarrow; Onions

Penstemon gracilis (I, B)

Slender Penstemon

4-14"

FS/PS; Moist to dry

Lupine, W. Geranium; Yarrow; Onions

Penstemon hirsuta (I)

Hairy Penstemon

1-3'

FS/PS/SH; Dry, thin soils

Lupine, W. Geranium; Yarrow; Onions

Polemonium reptans (I, B)

Jacob's-Ladder

12-18"

FS/PS  Medium

Bluebells, Jacobs Ladder

Ratibida columnifera (I, B)

Upright Coneflower

3-5'

FS/LSH; Avg to rich well drained

Liatris; Purple Prairie Clover; Hyssop

Rudbeckia hirta (I, B, W)

Black-eyed Susan

1-3'

FS; Moist, avg well-drained

Liatris; Prairie Dropseed; Asters

Ruellia humilis (I, B)

Wild Petunia

1-2'

FS; dry, rocky shallow soils

Prairie Smoke; Pussytoes; Little Bluestem

Solidago flexicaulis (I)

Zig-zag Goldenrod

2-4'

LSH; Moist to dry-Mesic

Decid. woodland plant; Limestone glades

Solidago nemoralis (I)

Gray Goldenrod

4"-2'

FS; Avg - infertile soil(clay/sand)

Asters; Joe Pye Weeds; Coneflwr; Grasses

Solidago ptarmicoides (I)

White Upland Aster

3"-24"

FS; Dry to sandy/gravelly soils

Silky Aster, Side-Oats Grama; Leadplant

Solidago ulmifolia (I)

Elm-leaved Goldenrod

1-3'

FS; Clay to dry soils

Woodland edge plants

Tradescantia ohiensis (I)

Spiderwort

12-18"

FS/LSH; Lean, well-drained

Mints; Asters; Goldenrods

Zizia aptera (I)

Heart-lvd Golden Alex

1-3'

FS/LSH; Moist well drained

Phlox, Prairie Smoke; Columbines

Hedyotis longifolia (I)

Longleaf Bluet

3-10"

FS/PSH; Rocky or sandy

Wild Petunias; Grasses

 

 

 

 

 

GRASSES & GRASS-LIKE

PLANTS

 

 

 

Carex brevior  (W)

Oval  Sedge

12"

FS/PS; Dry to medium

Prairie plants

Juncus tenuis  (W)

Path Rush

6"-24"

FS/PS; Medium to Wet

Rain garden plants

Koeleria macrantha  (W)

Junegrass

1-2'

FS/PS; Dry-medium

Prairie plants

Schizachyrium scoparius  (W)

Little Bluestem

2-3'

FS; Sand or loam, well drained

Prairie flowers

Sporobolus heterolepis  (W)

Prairie Dropseed

2-4'

FS; Moist, well-drained

Prairie flowers

 

 

 

 

 

KEY

 

 

 

 

FS = Full Sun or 6 to 8 hours of sun per day

 

I = Insect Pollination

 

PS = Part Sun or 4 to 6 hours of sun per day

 

W = Wind Pollination

 

LSH = Very Light Shade or around 4 hours of sun per day

S = Self Pollination

 

PSH = Part Shade or 2-4 hours of sunlight per day

 

B = Bird Pollination

 

SH = Shade Areas

 

 

A = Animal Pollination

 

       equals plants which can exceed 3' in height.  Some cities do not allow these on boulevards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plants listed above are good choices because most are 3'-0" high or less; relatively easy to establish; are showy and can grow in a variety of conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           Copyright 2014  True Nature Design, LLC

         
 

And, lastly, a resource list for Native Plants from Wild Ones; and Plants available in Minneapolis, which do not contain harmful neonicitoids (at Mother Earth Gardens).

Blazing Star Gardens

Albert Lea Farmer’s Market

www.blazingstargardens.com 507-402-8337

Native flowers, short grasses, sedges, no

neonicotinoids or other chemicals.

Blugardens

12975 – 32nd St., Watertown, MN

Weekends May 17 ff.

Stevedan773@aol.com 952-955-3631 MN

Natives, wetland & upland, no chemicals

Cedar Hills at Natives At Hedberg’s

8400 -60th St. W, Stillwater

www.cedarhillnatives.com 651-252-7598

Raingardens, shorelines, native gardens, no

pesticides

Feder Prairie Seed

Blue Earth, Mn

www.federprairieseed.com 507-526-3049

Native seeds, sourced from S. MN & N. IA,

flowers, grasses, sedges, & rushes.

Glacial Ridge Growers

Retail at St. Paul Farmers’ Market

glacridgegrowers@aol.com 320-634-0136

Native plants plus annuals. No chemicals;

use beneficial insects for control.

Hayland Woods Native Nursery

6549 Keystone Rd., Milaca, MN

(call for appt.)

shelley@haylandwoods.com 320-983-2584

Native woodland species for shade and

shore. No neonicotinoids, herbicides or

pesticides.

Kinnickinnick Native Plants

235 State Rd.65, River Falls, WI

www.kinninatives.com, 715-425-7605

Native orchids & local eco-type native

perennials.

Landscape Alternatives

25316 St. Croix Tr., Shafer, MN

www.landscapealternatives.com

651-257-4460

MN local ecotype shrubs, wildflowers,

grasses, sedges. No neonicotinoids; few

chemicals; Safer Soap if needed.

Leaning Pine Natives

3130 S. Camp Amnicon Rd., S.Range, WI

phlina4@gmail.com 715-398-5453

northern woodland plants; new Carex/Juncus

species; no synthetic chemicals; compost tea,

other organics.

Morning Sky Greenery

44804 E. Hwy 28, Morris, MN

www.morningskygreenery.com

320-795-6234

Natives for shoreline, rain & butterfly

gardens. No neonicotinoids or toxic

chemicals; natural repellents.

Natural Shore Technologies

5300 US Hwy 12, Maple Plain, MN

www.NaturalShore.com, 612-807-0331

By appointment & check for sale dates MN

native plants. No neonicotinoids or synthetic

chemicals.

Naturally Wild  

3539 W 44th St., Mpls., MN

www.naturallywildflowers.com

612-922-9279

Native MN wildflowers for prairie,

woodland, raingardens, & for pollinators &

monarchs. No neonicotinoids or synthetic

chemicals.

Out Back Nursery

15280 – 110th St. S., Hastings, MN

www.outbacknursery.com 651-438-2771

Container-grown native trees, shrubs, vines,

flowers, grasses. No neonicotinoids; careful

use of insecticidal soap & horticultural oil.

Prairie Meadows Native Seed/Taylor

Creek Restoration

21938 Mushtown Rd., Prior Lake, MN for

order pick-up

www.prairiemeadowsnativeseed.com

608-897-8641

Midwest genotype seed and plants.

No neonicotinoids; use foliar, drench, and

Plantskydd as necessary, timed to avoid

pollinator presence.

Prairie Moon Nursery

Mail order at www.prairiemoon.com or

866-417-8156

“Largest selection of native seed & plants in

upper Midwest”. Neonicotinoid-free

Prairie Restorations, Inc.

31646 – 128th St. NW, Princeton, MN,

763-631-9458,

21120 Ozark Court N, Scandia, MN,

651-433-1437

www. prairieresto.com

Local ecotype native seed and plants. No

neonicotinoids; sparing use of other

chemicals.

Shooting Star Native Seeds

20740 Cty. Rd. 33, Spring Grove, MN

www.ssns.co 507-498-3944 or 888-983-3670

Native seed for large-scale upland & wetland

projects. No chemicals on plants, but some in

production fields.

Sunrise Native Plants

34292 Quinton Ave., Center City, MN

www.sunrisenativeplants.com, 651-257-4414

Natives from seeds or cuttings w/in 150 miles

of metro 6 packs, 3” pots, gallon pots. No

neonicotinoids, pesticides, herbicides;

organic fertilizer.

Sunshine Gardens Nursery &

Landscaping

1286 Shadywood Shores Dr. NW, Pine River,

MN

http://sunshinegardens.tripod.com,

218-947-3154

Perennials, trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges,

aquatics. No neonicotinoids; mostly organic

pesticides & fertilizers- compost tea, kelp,

fish emulsion.

The Vagary

26050 Emery Ave., Randolph, MN,

weekends May 17 & ff., Roseville Landscape

Revival 6/7; Mpls. Monarch Festival, etc.

www.theVagary.com, 507-263-5369

Mostly native flowers. Pesticide use low, and

decreasing more.

Mother Earth Gardens

Two locations in Minneapolis for native, food and ornamental perennials and annuals grown without neonicitoids

RELATED WEBSITES

Wild Ones National

www.wildones.org

Minnesota Wildflowers

www.minnesotawildflowers.info

Minnesota Native Plant Society

www.mnnps.org

Minnesota DNR (gardening)

www.dnr.state.mn.us/garden/

nativeplants.index.html

National Wildlife Federation

www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-

Wildlife.aspx

Blue Thumb

www.bluethumb.org

Native Plant Database

www.wildflower.org/plants

Restoring the Landscape with Native

Plants

www.restoringthelandscape.com

Plant Native

www.plantnative.org

Happy planning and planting!  The pollinators and I thank you!!!

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