Getting Closer to Your Restoration
Making time to get in touch with nature!
 Ah, what an interesting summer it has been. With the pretty much constant heat and humidity, and throw in a relentless stream of smoke from our friends in Canada, it’s been a real challenge to leave the cool AC and venture into the outdoors. 

Well, our staff at Natural Shore have been amazingly dedicated, efficiently working each day in these adverse conditions. Without a doubt, our observations made in the natural areas that we create and manage boost our resolve and instantly make us forget about the challenging conditions. For instance, finding a rusty-patched bumblebee, or a monarch caterpillar feasting on a swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) that we just planted last visit makes it all worthwhile.
So with the cooler conditions just ahead, we encourage you to make up for lost time and get out and totally immerse yourself in your restoration. Here are five super fun and easy ways to get closer to your natural area:

Host Plant Highlight
90% of plant-eating insects use native plants to grow and survive. Without their native host plants, many butterflies and other insects cannot survive. Birds and other wildlife use caterpillars and other insects to feed their young. Over the last few years, we have seen major declines in both insect and bird populations due to a variety of factors, especially habitat loss and fragmentation. Rebuilding habitat with native plants is crucial in providing food for caterpillars, which in turn provide food for baby birds; making native plants the foundation of our food webs.
Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)
# of Larval species- 13
Prairie cordgrass serves as a host plant for 13 species of larval insects! Small butterflies known as skippers use grasses as host plants. The least skipper specifically uses prairie cordgrass as its host for larval development. Prairie cordgrass is a tall, warm season grass with extensive root systems, making it a great plant for erosion control along shorelines. It can become aggressive in small home landscaping settings.
Prairie Cordgrass creates shoreline habitat
Least Skipper
Prairie Cordgrass Flowers
Retail Nursery:
Visit us at our last sale date!

Please visit our retail nursery or order plants online to pick up on these dates:
Aug Fri.13- Sat. 14

For more information visit:
Non-native Species of the Month- Leafy Spurge
(Euphorbia virgata)

Leafy Spurge is a perennial invasive species we identify and control in many of our restorations. It grows in a wide variety of soil types, and infests habitats such as prairies, pastures, meadows, and roadsides. It reproduces from spreading underground rhizomes and seeds that explode from the pods. Leafy Spurge has yellow-green floral bracts appearing May-June and opposite, simple leaves with a blue-grey hue. Management includes weed whipping repeatedly, hand pulling small plants, and herbicide applications. Control is a continued process as seeds can be viable up to 10 years in the soil. 

Native Plant of the Month-
Blue Lobelia
(Lobelia siphilitica)

Blue Lobelia has stout, leafy stems and shallow fibrous roots. Attractive, stately plant packed with many tubular light to dark blue flowers crowded on flower stalks. It is similar to Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), but is shorter and packed with more flowers that are blue instead of red. Grows in sun to part sun and moist to wet soil. Tolerates flooding. Found in swamps, wet meadows and wet woods. Blue Lobelia is easy to grow and self-seeds. Flowers are a nectar source for butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.

We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! On the last Wednesday of each month we will feature a book discussion and review on our Facebook Page.
Here are next three!
Forager Fix

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is our featured Forager Fix this month and is a powerhouse! This annual, succulent weed from Eurasia has the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants out of all leafy-green plants analyzed to date. Most of the plant is edible, including leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds. It has a distinct lemon-sour, fresh taste. Purslane is a very versatile vegetable and is prominent in Asian cuisine. It can be made into a salad, pickled, put into spring rolls, and added to a stir fry. Make sure to add it last when cooking as it can easily be overcooked.

Weeding the Prairie
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