Do you struggle to grow grass under trees? Instead extend your wildlife habitat offering by learning how to create layered landscapes of natives in shady parts of your yard. Less lawn, less mowing, and instead layers of native ground covers, perennials, shrubs, understory trees, and canopy trees. Many shade-loving natives flower and bear fruit that benefit birds, butterflies, moths, turtles; plus many shade-loving natives are important caterpillar plants for our butterflies and moths. Pat’s own deep dive into shade gardening coincided with reclaiming a third of their half-acre property, a woods overgrown with Multiflora Rose and Japanese Honeysuckle, in 2009. Today that woods is full of natives, some planted by Pat, some shared by fellow wildlife gardeners like Jesse Connor, some seeded by birds (like the frequently found Willow Oak seedlings, planted by Blue Jays carrying acorns into this oasis), and other natives that were in the seed bank but deprived of sun to grow until the Multiflora Rose was removed. If you are just beginning to add native trees and shrubs to your yard, Pat Sutton will share some of the very best natives that will enhance your habitat and benefit wildlife.
Before this program, download, print, and read my many handouts on native plants for specific sites (pollinator gardens, shady areas, etc). My “Shade Gardening in the Mid-Atlantic” handouts will prove very helpful as folks learn from this program. My “Gardening for Pollinators” handout is KEY; it is my most in depth handout and applies to all native plant gardening. My list of “New Jersey’s Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines That are Most Beneficial to Birds” is annotated with the number of NJ bird species that feed on fruits, seeds, cones, or catkins of each. My “List of Some Sources of Native Plants in NJ, DE, eastern MD, and eastern PA” directs readers to safe sources of native plants grown by knowledgeable nursery owners wise to the hazards of neonics! Click HERE to see these native plant resources / handouts and others.