Diary of a Mad Gardener

Anyone who’s seen me toil in the garden might get the idea that establishing a native plant garden is hard. It’s not. More on that subject later, but suffice it to say that with prudent preparation, judicious selection, and patience, an urban native plant community can be established with minimal work. And, after the first three years, such a habitat requires very little….

a profusion of blooms of native prairie flowers including purple coneflower, sweet black eyed Susan, cardinal flower, and blazing star

Featured Posts

  • Reading Season – Great Reads on Gardening, Environment, and Conservation

    And a peek at my winter reading list. By now, your garden has gone to sleep for the season. The stands of last season’s wildflowers are crowned with a rime of frost, and the woolly bears and luna caterpillars are tucked beneath a blanket of fallen leaves. The big jobs are done. There will be […]


  • The Best Time to Begin is Right Now

    Of all the mistakes I’ve made in my journey into urban native yardscaping, probably the biggest is inadequate preparation. Good preparation is the most important…


  • Let Us Become Stewards

    We replaced this delicate and diverse ecosystem, tens of thousands of years in the making, with our RoundUp-Ready crops, our European lawns, our progress. We ‘developed’ it, we like to say.


  • Making a Difference

    In just a little more than a year, by planting native plants, I managed to alter the path of monarch migration in my city. I’ve hosted endangered bees on this tiny fragment of land I call my front yard.  I’ve watched goldfinches breakfast on coneflower seeds. I’m sequestering two times the carbon than a traditional lawn. […]


About Me

Welcome to Iowa Native Gardener

If you’re here for sage advice or genius gardening hacks, you may need to lower your expectations. Hang on to your hats, we learn as we go around here.

Welcome to one reluctant gardener’s journey into urban native yardscaping.