Natural Shore Technologies |  612-703-7581 
November Article
  We are Grateful for our Land of 10,000 Lakes - Ever Consider a Water Conservation Resolution?

It's not always easy, but during the holiday season, it's rejuvenating to slow down for a minute, reflect and be grateful. One natural resource that is easy for us to take for granted is our water. This is because we are surrounded by thousands upon thousands of wetlands, lakes, and rivers. It just seems right to us, a landscape that is filled with a huge diversity of aquatic ecosystems. But as we venture out of Minnesota and start to compare, we quickly realize that we live in an amazing part of the country, and are truly blessed.
As the news reports remind us, our freshwater is an indispensable resource. With our population growing, we are hearing more about water use and water rights, especially in the western states. Here in Minnesota, we have an opportunity to learn from other parts of the country, and be preemptive when it comes to water conservation and water quality management.    

So what can we do on an individual basis? There are so many quick and easy ways to conserve water in your daily routine. These small steps will add up to saving hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water each year! It could even be your New Year's resolution to be more mindful of ways to conserve water.

The first step to water conservation is doing a simple audit of your daily use to see where you could make a few changes. Do you take a shower every day? Do you run daily loads of dishes or laundry? How often do you water your lawn during the growing season? All of these things add up to your daily water consumption. Once you know roughly how many gallons of water you use each day, you can learn how to reduce that number. There are many online tools to help you calculate that number, click here for an example!

Here are a few ideas on how you can get started with your water conservation around your house: 1) Take a shorter shower or install low-flow shower heads; 2) Is it finally time for an upgrade on some of your appliances? Keep water conservation in mind when choosing a new dishwasher or washing machine; 3) Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth; 4) Fix your water leaks; 5) Do you need to flush the toilet every time? Maybe hold off if it's yellow and let it mellow.

So what can you do on your landscape? We may be a bit biased at Natural Shore, but it is really tough to see lawn watering take place, especially during the hot, dry summer periods. Consider shrinking your lawn and introducing more natural areas with Minnesota native plants. These areas will not require watering once established. If you must water, do this in the morning or evening. Are you using a rain barrel to capture water off your roof and then use the water for your garden or potted plants? This is an easy way to trap and conserve hundreds of gallons of water on an annual basis.

We are ready here at Natural Shore to help you conserve water. Our staff will assist with reducing that lawn and creating amazing natural landscapes that help to preserve our Land of 10,000 Lakes. We can all work together to reduce water use and make 2018 a spectacular water year!
Native Plant of the Month
Aromatic Aster
Aster oblongifolius

Moisture: Dry
Exposure:  Full Sun 
Blooms: August- October
Color: Violet
Height: 1-2 Feet
Aromatic aster has a very bushy appearance with stiff stems and densely crowded leaves.  Each flower is 1-1.5 inches wide with many purple ray florets (20-35) surrounding a bright yellow center.  The leaves and flower heads release a balsam-like aroma when crushed, giving it the aromatic name.  This is one of the last asters to bloom before frost.  Drought tolerant, it grows well in dry, sandy prairies.  Aromatic aster is also a great late season food source for bees, butterflies, and moths.  (syn. Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
Invasive Plant of the Month
Flower of an Hour
Hibiscus trionum

Moisture: Dry 
Exposure:  Full Sun 
Blooms: July to September
Color: Pale Yellow/White
Height: 0.5-2 Feet

Flower of an Hour is an annual weed from Europe named for its flowers that last less than one day. It has five pale yellow petals with a dark purple center and dark yellow stamens. Their leaves are a dark green with three lobed leaflets. Its found in gardens, farm fields, and along roadsides. While very pretty, it can spread rapidly by seed and should be hand pulled when found. 

Native plant alternatives include  White Prairie Clover or Canada Anemone!
Pollinator of the Month
Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

In honor of the Monarch butterflies' completing their migration to Mexico, they are this month's Pollinator of the Month! Want to help Monarchs? Be sure to plant Milkweed next season!

Range : Throughout North America
Identification  Monarchs are mostly orange with black stripes. Their wing margins and bodies are black with white dots. Monarch caterpillars have white, black, and yellow stripes and are found on Milkweed species.
Pollination: Adults visit many different species of native plants for nectar and visit Milkweed species to lay their eggs. Some common native plants they are found on for nectar are Pale Purple Coneflower, Swamp Milkweed, Liatris species,  Bergamot, Joe Pye Weed, and many more. 

November 2017 Issue
Our Company
Retail Nursery News
Our retail nursery is currently closed. But will reopen spring 2018! Thank you for visiting us this season!

Our retail nursery address is:
1480 County Rd. 90  Independence MN 55359

Have any questions? Contact our greenhouse manager Jill at

Click and visit our website for current
Minnnesota Native Plant Brand ensures that plant species are native to Minnesota. 
5 Plants For...
Migrating Ducks

Now is the season for many migrating waterfowl to spread their wings and journey south. Here are a few native plants which produce seed that are favored by these travelers.

1. Spike Rush
Eleocharis palustris

2. Arrowhead
Sagittaria latifolia
3. Softstem Bulrush
Scirpus validus

4. Sweet Flag
Acorus calamus

5. Burreed
Sparganium eurycarpum

 Want to learn more about these native plants? Click Here to visit our website!