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

  • baby robins in a nest with mouths open wide, waiting to be fed

    Leave the Leaves

    Don’t blow it — Leave the Leaves — How Skipping One Step of Your Spring Lawn Care Ritual Can Have a Big Payoff for Nature


  • A woodland glade filled with a profusion of bluebells in bloom

    Nine Essential Spring Flowers for Your Midwestern Pollinator Garden

    There are few sights more welcome after a Midwestern winter than the first flowers of spring. The lovelies on this list bloom as early as March, and will continue blooming as late as July. Native to the Midwest, they support a variety of wildlife. Read on to find the right match for your spring garden.…


  • A variety of wildflowers in a garden

    Where to Find Native Plants for Your Garden (and where not to)

    It’s February. It’s too early to start your garden. However it’s never too early to start planning it. Perhaps you’re feeling inspired. Maybe you just read Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope—or perhaps you’re inspired by that loopy friend—the one who dug up her lawn and put in all those wildflowers. (It wasn’t much to look…


  • 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…


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.