Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Is Their Time To Shine!

Trillium just beginning to  fade in my backyard
All of my delicate, native spring ephemerals are beginning to fade, the trillium, Virginia bluebells and shooting star… While it’s sad to see them go, summer is when so many of our beautiful natives really shine. This is a perfect time for you to think about adding native perennials to your garden. Pollinators and other beneficial wildlife could really use your help and the lovely summer blooms and butterflies will brighten your day.

Start them young!
Your garden can be a place to share dinner with your friends and family, a quiet retreat at the end of the day and even a classroom. By inviting nature into your garden you will be able to discover the natural world with your children or in my case grandchildren, to teach them to be good stewards. What child wouldn’t be delighted by a hummingbird, a swallowtail butterfly or a cocoon?
Why not join the nation wide celebration of Pollinator Week by having your own Pollinator party? Our partner, The Pollinator Partnership celebrates Pollinator Week the June 15-21. During that time they highlight the importance of pollinators including bees, butterflies, birds and bats. On their website you’ll find planting guides for your specific ecoregion. You can also look up local Pollinator Week events or post your own. They even have fun stuff for kids.

Here are a few of my favorite perennials that really shine in summertime. These are all tough as nails, super easy to grow and will give you long-lasting color. Put them on your shopping list today.

Butterfly Weed
Butterfly weed produces loads of bright orange flower clusters from early summer into autumn. The bright flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a host plant for Grey Hairstreak, Monarch and  Queen butterflies. The dried seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements. This is an essential plant if you want to attract a variety of butterflies to your property, especially Monarchs.

Jeana Garden Phlox
Erect, stiff stems are topped with sweetly scented, lavender-pink flowers from midsummer through early autumn. The flowers are small but there are up to one hundred in each cluster creating a unique tiered effect. Strongly mildew resistant, it attracts hummingbirds and butterflies in huge numbers.

Miss Manners Obedient Plant

'Miss Manners' is aptly named because, unlike many other kinds of obedient plant, this one is clump forming and doesn't spread throughout the garden. Stiff, square stems end in dense spikes of pure white, snapdragon-like flowers, which bloom throughout the summer. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the nectar. Deer tend not to eat this plant.

Iron Butterfly Narrow Leaf Ironweed
A butterfly magnet in late summer,  this vigorous perennial shows off masses of tiny, true purple flowers that attract beneficial insects for a nectar feast. Delicate green foliage gives it a fine texture that is enhanced by grouping. Very tolerant of rough, sandy, infertile, dry soils. 

Slender, upright form makes a vertical statement. Wands of tiny white flowers bloom over an extended period of time in mid to late summer attracting loads of butterflies. Despite the height it won’t need staking. 

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there, Peggy Anne

Many thanks to North Creek Nurseries for the images!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Garden Designs for the Southwest!

American Beauties Native Plants could not be more proud to have Civano Nursery as a partner. This family run business located in Tucson, Arizona excels in every way. I have been lucky enough to travel to Arizona to get a firsthand look at the operation.  The garden center is beautiful, filled with top quality plants and accessories, and a place where kids can pet the animals and get in a little golf.  Their growing facilities are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere, with plants properly spaced and not a weed in sight. These guys and gals are dedicated, the real deal.

That’s why we are so happy to announce that we now have a collection of native garden designs to help Southwest customers get inspired and get planting. We’ve teamed up with famed author and landscape designer, ScottCalhoun of Zona Gardens. Scott has designed 3 native gardens; a hummingbirdgarden, a songbird garden and a butterfly garden. There is something for everyone here. Thank you Scott and thank you Civano Nursery for making a difference for wildlife!

Scott Calhoun, Country Gardens magazine and American Beauties are teaming up to giveaway a Wildlife Waystation valued at $7,500. Enter to win! Look for us in these fine magazines.


Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there,

Peggy Anne

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

American Beauties Native Plants® is All About Giving Back

We Are Spreading Our Wings to Help Fund More Environmental Research and Education
Since it’s inception, American Beauties Native Plants has been giving back in a big way. It’s at the very core of our mission. For 10 years American Beauties Native Plants partnered with the National Wildlife Federation and donated $267,000 to help support their environmental education programs.

 This year we are spreading our wings to help other worthy causes such as the exciting new documentary Hometown Habitat, from award winning filmmaker Catherine Zimmerman. "American Beauties Native Plants kicked off Hometown Habitat fundraising by sponsoring the first minute of production! And they continue to support!”- Catherine Zimmerman

"Donating funds to make this documentary film possible was the right thing to do. It's important work, and what better way to convey the message about native plants, pollinators and larval foods than by seeing the relationship first hand. Surely, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a movie is worth a million." - co-owner of American Beauties, Steve Castorani

We are also committed to the Pollinator Partnership and their Wings Over Ohio program. The campaign will research, maintain and augment the Ohio segment of the North American Monarch Migration. “We are so proud to join forces with the Pollinator Partnership. Their projects and research are invaluable!” – Peggy Anne Montgomery, Brand Manager American Beauties

Join us on Facebook for a chance to win this fabulous book from the Pollinator Partnership!

More Ways American Beauties Native Plants Gives Back

·      American Beauties Native Plants donated 850 plants to help Girls Scouts Celebrate their 100th Anniversary.

·      Groupon Grassroots!  American Beauties donated 3000 plants for special projects around the country.

·      American Beauties donated 650 native plants for a New York City Eco-elementary school.

·      American Beauties donated 1,350 plants to the Gateway National Recreation Area as part of a Hurricane Sandy restoration project.

·      American Beauties donated 500 native plants to help Eco-School in Minnesota build outdoor classroom.

·      American Beauties donated a native plant landscape design for a Whole Foods Distribution Center.

American Beauties is teaming up with Country Gardens Magazine and Easy Garden Projects to give away a $7,500 Wildlife Waystation!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wild for Wildlife!

We're giving Away a Wildlife Waystation 
Valued at $7,500!

We are so excited to be working with 2 of Better Homes & Gardens’ best magazines Easy Garden Projects and Country Gardens Magazine to give away a $7,500 Wildlife Waystation! The winner will receive $7,500 worth of native plants plus a garden design and consultation with famed author and garden designer, Scott Calhoun of Zona Gardens, all compliments of American Beauties Native Plants.

Wildlife habitat is diminishing at an alarming rate. That means that your backyard is more important than ever to the wildlife we hold so dear. Here’s 
how you can create a wildlife friendly yard.

Providing Food for Wildlife
Planting native trees, shrubs and perennials will provide wildlife with their natural diet that includes; nectar, pollen, seeds, nuts and berries. Adding birdfeeders is a great way to provide supplemental nutrition.

Provide a Clean Source of Water
Just like us, wildlife needs a fresh water source to drink and to bathe in. Try to incorporate ponds, rain gardens, birdbaths and puddling areas for butterflies. Water will bring so much life to your garden!

Provide Cover and a Place to Raise their Young 
Evergreen trees provide shelter all year. Leave brush and leaf piles in a quite corner of your garden. Meadows, shrub borders, even dead trees provide cover and nesting. You can also supplement with birdhouses, bee houses, bat houses, toad houses and more.

Avoiding pesticides and herbicides is an essential part of creating wildlife waystation.

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Peggy Anne 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is Gardening a Foreign Language to You?

I studied horticulture in the Netherlands so, when I moved back to the states I realized I didn’t know how to speak gardening in English! There is a huge, very specific vocabulary we use to describe plants, soil, maintenance etc. Lucky for me botanical Latin is the same everywhere. I just happen to speak it with a Dutch accent, much to the comic relief of all my friends.

Help is on it’s way! Horticulture powerhouses Maria Zampini and Pamela Bennett have just published Garden-pedia; An A- Z Guide to Gardening Terms. Thanks to this new book, people like my brother-in-law Ken can join the conversation instead of glazing over when we start to talk about gardening. Finally, a clear, concise book with over 200 useful terms for the layman gardener. I think it would also be an excellent guide for summer staff at garden centers and, would benefit Master Gardeners and horticulture students as well. What better gift is there for that special gardener in your life? Mother's Day isn’t too far off… 

Where was this book when I needed it !?

Visit Maria’s website to purchase a single copy or to place a wholesale order. A portion of the proceeds goes to The Ohio University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

Win a Free Copy!
Tell us why you need this book for a chance to win a copy from my friend Maria Zampini. Leave us a message on the American Beauties Native Plants Facebook page or write to me at: We’ll select a winner on March 31st.

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there, Peggy Anne

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are Our Perceptions of Beauty Changing?

A Day At The Philadelphia Flower Show

Last week I was lucky enough to sneak into the Philadelphia Flower Show before it was open to the public. Philly’s flower show is the oldest and arguably the best in the country. The cold, snowy weather made it that much nicer to be surrounded by flowering plants and the sweet smell of mulch.

The first thing I noticed when I came up the stairs was a giant beehive from Subaru. A small fence in the shape of a honeycomb surrounded their display and the staff were wearing yellow and black jackets. Ok, they didn’t have wings but they were clearly bumblebee wannabes. When I stepped inside I was standing under the beautiful marquee in all its colorful glory, as dramatic and bold as years passed.

Then I started to notice that I wasn’t seeing many perfectly spaced, gaudy annuals in rows. I was seeing something far more natural. Hellebores were nestled into pine needles and fallen branches. The edging of displays were made of logs and sticks. Crocus were blooming in the un-mowed grass. Butterfly scarves were for sale. Beehives and birdhouses were prevalent. Butterfly plant stakes danced above violets and sedge. Old rusted cars became hen houses. Best native plants were called out and a native, Fothergilla was named best bloomer. Someone was even bold enough to show their shrubs, barely leafed out, with ornamental grasses in the snow!

I was moved to see that we are moving closer to nature, that we’re beginning to accept the imperfect as beautiful. And, that we’re accepting native plants not because we think have to but because they bring life to our gardens!

Hope your snow melts soon! Peggy Anne

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Washington Wildflowers: The New Standard in Wildflower Smartphone Apps

Mark Turner is one of the finest nature photographers in the country. His images have appeared on the covers and in the pages of Garden Design, Sunset, American Gardener, Horticulture, Organic Gardening, Birds and Blooms as well as in numerous garden books. He also co-authored Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, an American Horticultural Society Book Award winner. Mark also co-authored Trees & Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest with Ellen Kuhlmann. 

When Mark showed me the Washington Wildflowers app I was completely overwhelmed by the stunning quality of the images and the depth of information! University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum provided the cultural information and database. High Country Apps provided the software and of course, Mark supplied the images. Whether you are a novice plant lover or have a Ph.D. in Plant Science this user friendly app has something for you. The Washington Wildflowers app costs just $7.99 and a portion of revenues go back to University of Washington Herbarium to fund conservation and botanical exploration in the region.

It contains 850 (!) common wildflowers, shrubs, and vines that occur in Washington and adjacent areas of British Columbia, Idaho, and Oregon. The majority of species included are native, but introduced species common to the region are covered as well in order to expand the usefulness of this resource. Once downloaded and installed, the app does not need an Internet or cell phone connection to run so, you can use it no matter how remote your wanderings take you. Mark, an avid outdoorsman himself, now takes the app on hikes instead of his books.

Available through:

Bringing life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there!

Peggy Anne