When Susan Damon and her husband bought their St. Paul home a couple decades ago, invasive plants had a stranglehold. Now their yard is home to more than 100 species of native plants and a food source for an array of critters.
It's proof that even city dwellers can create a welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and songbirds.
They replanted with prairie grasses, high bush cranberry and hazelnut, among other species. There's almost no weeding — the natives crowd out the dandelions — and hardly any watering since some of the plants have roots sunk up to 10 feet deep into the soil.
Damon estimates she and her husband have spent maybe $2,000 on native plants but adds that the yard takes care of itself with just a bit of cleanup and some thinning of plants in spring.
She recommends six plants to get started — see the gallery below for more details. And click on the play button above to hear her talk about the joys of ditching the lawn and how to do it.
• More on native plants from University of Minnesota Extension