I love this time of year…the grass has turned green, plants are waking up, and flowers are blooming to color our landscape. My phlox and irises are in full bloom with coneflowers, coreopsis, and day lilies coming soon. I spent Mother’s Day weekend planting annuals of every color around my patio. And, the herbs are peeking up through the soil in my herb garden.

We wake each morning to the birds singing – always a joyful noise. My hummingbird feeders are full; those tiny, fast flying birds fascinate me. Later this summer the birds, butterflies, and bees will blanket the plants surrounding my patio.

Missouri has a wonderful variety of native plants that are beautiful and help wildlife thrive. Maybe you are a backyard observer who wants to create a new space to enjoy in your yard. Or, perhaps you enjoy long walks and hiking through the woods and you would like to be able to identify the beautiful plants you see. The Missouri Department of Conservation offers many resources to help you learn about the plants and animals native to our state. Here is one I recommend:

https://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/nativeplantsrevision_2012_07web.pdf

Our landscape is beautiful, diverse, and thrives when cared for – just like the people we serve and our community! I hope you are taking some extra time these days to appreciate all that surrounds you.

Stay safe and healthy,

Karen Schuster

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