SG553: How Native Plants Bring Nature Home with Peggy Anne Montgomery

Are native plants part of your landscape or garden plans for 2017?

As a passionate spokeswoman for native plants, Peggy Anne Montgomery and I talk about how important native plants are to home gardens across America.

Peggy Anne went from studying and practicing landscape design in the Netherlands to working for reputable garden powerhouses like Bailey Nurseries and the Mount Cuba Center where she cultivated her passion for native plants. Today, Peggy Anne is the Brand Manager at American Beauties Native Plants and she’s leading the charge for bringing nature home in gardens across America by encouraging the use of native plants.

A fellow Minnesotan, Peggy Anne gave a fantastic talk about native plants at the evening reception on Day 2 of the Garden Bloggers Fling and I knew within the first five minutes that I had to get her on the show for a repeat performance. From providing a sense of place to providing wildlife habitat, what's old is new again as gardeners rediscover the wonders only native plants can provide.

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Busting Native Plant Myths with Peggy Anne Montgomery
Busting Native Plant Myths with Peggy Anne Montgomery

Interview Questions

Why don’t you share a little bit about you life, your career in horticulture – and don’t forget the good parts during your time in Minnesota – you’re from White Bear Lake!!

Time Stamp: 29:30

So, when you’re working with American Beauty, can people buy directly from American Beauty or do they sell only to nurseries?

Time Stamp 34:00

I just so enjoyed your presentation during the reception on Night 2 of the GB Fling and I’m so happy that you can share it with my listeners. Can you introduce this presentation and maybe a personal comment or two on your passion for growing Native Plants?

Time Stamp: 35:40

In terms of attitudes towards the American native plant movement, so much has changed, hasn’t it?

Time Stamp: 40:15

Let’s start with how you define Native Plants.

Time Stamp: 43:00

Is there a divide between Team Native vs. Team Exotic?

Time Stamp: 46:20

I thought it would be fun to go through some Native Plant Myths. I got these myths and fact from Vera Strader. Myth #1 – Native Plants are nothing but brush

Time Stamp: 51:15

Myth #2 – Roadside Ditches contain Native Plants

Time Stamp: 51:35

Myth #3 - Native plants will take over your yard.

Time Stamp: 52:35

Myth #4 - Native Plants need no water

Time Stamp: 53:30

Myth #5 - Native Plants bring in bad bugs

Time Stamp: 54:30

We’d be remiss to talk about Native Plants without discussing how they have adapted to regions over time.

Time Stamp: 55:35

There are so many benefits to Native Plants – to people and wildlife. Why don’t you review some of the best aspects of introducing more Native Plants into the garden.

Time Stamp: 56:55

In the presentation, you said, “Native plants give us a sense of place”. Do you have some iconic native plants that stand out in your mind as a lover of gardens from all over the world?

Time Stamp: 1:01:00

You also reference the importance of basic good rules of horticulture for planting natives – like right plant, right place. Any other pieces of advice, especially regarding the design esthetics?

Time Stamp: 1:03:40

You are a wonderful champion of biodiversity, which is sadly in decline. There are contributing factors that you feel are especially detrimental and that people need to be aware of. What are they?

Time Stamp: 1:07:45

In your talk, you especially took some time out to talk about the birds and the bees. I loved these slides and the powerful and informative facts you shared.

Time Stamp: 1:14:15

As a writer yourself, you call on garden communicators to encourage their readers to take small steps toward building wildlife habitats. There is a growing awareness, isn’t there?

Time Stamp: 1:19:35

Any closing thoughts on Native Plants?

Time Stamp: 1:24:55

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What listeners are saying...

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016

Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

- cwaigl, May 29, 2014

Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

- Corn bug, June 15, 2016

This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

- So Cal Gardengirl, June 19,2016

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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