A Cottage Habitat Garden

Cottage Landscape In Transition

  • 1920s house in University City, Missouri with traditional non-native landscape in transition to mostly Missouri natives while retaining select ornamentals.
  • Corner lot with wide variety of planting areas, topography, light, and growing conditions.
  • Shady north facing slope cleared of wintercreeper and bush honeysuckle to be restored as native Missouri shady slope for wildlife habitat; first round of plantings completed.
  • Large boxwood hedge removed from backyard to be replaced with pollinator border garden using a mix of Missouri native shrubs and flowers.
  • Steep east-facing slope cleared of existing vegetation in preparation for installation of mix of Missouri native grasses for wildlife habitat and erosion control.

The wildlife-loving Master Gardener homeowner inherited a landscape consisting largely of non-native ornamentals with a few native trees and other plantings including: a beautiful maple, an American Elm, a flowering dogwood, and a mature bed of healthy and vigorous Christmas ferns. A landscape-wide renovation began in Spring 2021 to replace many of the non-native species with Missouri natives.

The overall plan will build a multi-level canopy, control erosion and stabilize soil in select areas, manage stormwater and maximize wildlife habitat potential. Some areas have been entirely replanted, some beds are a blank canvas, and some established areas are being modified. If you are going through a similar overhaul or simply interested in seeing a variety of planting conditions in a smallish suburban space, there’s plenty here to inspire.