Learn How You Can Bee The Change!
Plant Natives for the Bees! (and wasps, and flies, and ...)
One of the greatest joys of an ecological restoration, whether it be a perennial garden or a natural shoreline, is observing plants as they grow from tiny sprouts to tall, mature flowering plants each year. Our maintenance crews get a front row seat to this yearly transformation in our restorations, working to apply seasonally appropriate management strategies, keep ahead of weed problems, or react to new on-site challenges.

While the snowy months have us anxiously awaiting the retreat of the snow and the beginning of our busy season, restorations in winter provide vital ecological functions. We like to leave as much plant matter as possible in our restoration areas going into winter. The dried stalks and seed heads of native plants are an invaluable resource—birds visit to eat seed throughout the winter, a host of pollinators take refuge inside hollow plant stems, and clumps of native grasses provide insulated hiding places for small mammals. Plant matter packed down by snow over winter will decay in freeze-thaw cycles and in spring, creating wonderful compost for the soil.

Insect of the Month
Great Black Wasp
( Sphex pensylvanicus )

This predatory wasp is quite easy to identify, being over an inch long and completely black (except for bluish tinged wings), it can look a little intimidating. But being a solitary wasp, it is not aggressive, unless you are a grasshopper or katydid. It stings the katydid, paralyzing it, and brings it back to their nest to feed their larva. Adult Great Black Wasps feed on the nectar they get when they visit various native plants including swamp milkweed, horsemint, Culver's root, wild bergamot, mountain mint, and others.
Retail Nursery:
Mark Your Calendars!
Visit us this spring!
Here are our upcoming retail dates:
Fri. May 15th
Sat. May 16th
Fri. May 29th
Sat. May 30th
For more sale dates and information:
Order Plants Online!
Need beautiful native plants this spring?   Order online now for pick up at our May 29th or May 30th retail dates! This is a convenient way to still get native plants this season while also practicing safe social distancing guidelines.

Non-native Species of the Month Dame's Rocket ( Hesperis matronalis )-

Dame’s Rocket is a European flower that grows prolifically in moist, partly shady or shady disturbed areas. It is characterized by 4-petaled purple flowers that grow on top of its 2-4 foot tall stalks, blooming from May-July. Sometimes they can be mistaken for phlox, but all phlox have 5 petals while Dame’s Rocket has 4 per flower. Leaves are long and pointed, with a toothed edge, and stems and leaves are slightly hairy. Though the purple flowers are attractive, each plant produces many seed pods and can easily form large colonies that crowd out shade-loving native plants. 

Native Plant of the Month-
Canada Wild Rye ( Elymus canadensis )

This native grass is common throughout Minnesota and much of the United States due to its great flexibility in habitat. Canada Wild Rye can tolerate soil conditions from wet to dry and sun to shade, allowing it to live in woodland edges, prairies, sand dunes, and making it great for restorations! This grass grows 1-5 feet tall and fruits from July-August, producing long, drooping flower spikes from 3 to 10 inches long. The spikes, their stems, and the leaves are all bluish-green, and extra blue on the waxy underside of the leaves. Canada Wild Rye is notable for being the most common grass of the Elymus genus in most of the United States!

We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! Every few months we will feature three books in our newsletter with dates where we will discuss them on our Facebook Page .
Here are next three!
Five Plants For- May Flowers!
We survived the April showers, both rain and snow, now we deserve some May flowers! All these plants start blooming in May!
Forager Fix
Dandelions are a common spring weed in most gardens, easily identifiable by their bright yellow flowers and deeply lobed, dark green leaves. This is a very easy plant to forage because it is easy to identify, hand-pull, and all the plant parts are edible. We recommend using their leaves to accompany a spring salad. The flowers can also be used to make wine!

Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. | www.naturalshore.com