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Northern wildflower garden brings nature home

  • ##Painted ladies, like this beautiful butterfly here on boneset, flock to native wildflowers in the northern Wisconsin garden of Ryan Brady, a conservation biologist for DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program. Enjoy this pictorial tour of his garden and consider adding some of these native species to your yard to benefit pollinators and other wildlife. Adding even a few plants can make a difference! Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##Lawn surrounded Ryan’s Washburn home in Bayfield County when he and his family moved in. “We started small by killing some grass and subsequently planting with seedlings. Then we expanded a small amount each year, partially from seeds and partially from more seedlings from native plant sales. We weeded along the way to get a good start and tried to diversify colors and bloom times.” Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##So far, Ryan says the garden is a work in progress and targets more pollinators than birds. Here, an adult monarch on joe-pye weed, a great choice to benefit butterflies and other pollinators. Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##New England aster attracts a bumble bee. This plant grows in a range of soil types with full to partial sun. It blooms in late summer and is a go-to species in many gardens. Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##A Clouded Sulphur gathers pollen from New England asters too. Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##An American goldfinch alights on an oxeye sunflower. See some of Ryan’s recommendations for other plants for birds in DNR’s new Great Native Trees, Shrubs and Plants for Birds. Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##Wild bergamot supports hawk moths, hummingbirds and scores of other pollinators. A member of the mint family, it also tolerates a broad range of soils with full to partial sun.Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##A monarch caterpillar climbs a stem of swamp milkweed, which is shown blooming in the inset photo. The caterpillars can eat only milkweed, and swamp milkweed is one of the most common in Wisconsin.Photo by Ryan Brady
  • ##Columbine is a beautiful native plant that attracts pollinators and birds like hummingbirds.

    Get started on your own native garden with our Native Plants for Beginners, a plant list created by Ryan’s DNR colleague Amy Staffen, or other basic resources on our Native Plants web page. Photo by Ryan Brady
Last Revised: Tuesday November 6, 2018