I have a corner spot that used to be a very productive vegetable garden in the house I grew up in. Now that I am building a home of my own I noticed the abandoned garden has become a catch-all for clearance perennials and unwanted shrubs that I just couldn't throw out or never got around to plant. Also, I noticed that several weeds have taken over and the idea came to me to convert this forgoten corner of the yard "back to nature". The neighboor's trees block out a little of the sun - but there is enough there in teh morning. My dad really (ironically) liked the idea since the surrounding area is difficult to mow and when it rains a lot - floods.
Once I clear out the wanted shrubs and perennials I plan on converting the area to a rain garden - natural meadow. I already started reading some infor online and ordered some mail-order catalogues from prairie moon nursery etc.
Inteerestingly, echinacea, black-eyed susan, and some native sunflowers are already growing there. Now I have to ID the "weeds" to see if they are desirable prairie plants, or invasive species. As someone who grows orchids, hdrangeas, and roses, I am actually looking forward to planting natives who dont require babying. I want to get some helianthus, native lupines (since I cannot grow the Russel hybrids), native delphiniums (since I cannot grow the fussy European varities), and butterfly weed. There are almost so many fine native types, I wonder why I ever wasted my time with the non-natives. (think Columbine and dodecatheon). I also want to get native clematis (Clematis virginiana).....so many plants I think that when I landscape the new house I may go almost exclusively native...ok some English roses and some clematis.
any thoughts, I have a guide book or two on native prairies plants and native Illinois plants.