With the return of the gardening season, it’s always nice to add a little something to your garden to add a little flair. There are many themes you can feature in your garden and we are sure to feature many possibilities in future blogs, but in this week’s blog we are staying in the Wheat State. We hope you are inspired by some of our ideas when you are planning this year’s garden.


The State Flower

  • When you are looking for inspiration for any additions to your garden this year, think about adding a few elements that are part of the state emblem family. The state flower of Kansas, as you surely know, if the wild sunflower. The quintessential American flower, the flower of the Helianthus plant is the beloved flower that we all know. It can grow up to 10 feet tall with flowers larger than a dinner plate. They require little water and are extremely hardy. While they are annuals, their attractiveness to birds means they are readily reseeded and pop up everywhere. As they grow, they can create a lovely wall of shade and can be used decoratively as well as to shade areas.

The State Grass

  • Ornamental grasses can be a great addition to any garden. The state grass of Kansas is little bluestem grass or beard grass. This grass is native to the prairie and grows in bunches, instead of a carpet, which makes it perfect for use as an ornamental specimen piece for any garden. The leaves are blue-grey and it sends up flowering stalks in the summer that can grow up to six feet tall. In the fall it adds color to your fall foliage display. Depending on your soil, the leaves can run anywhere from orange copper to red and purple.

The State Insect

  • In many cases, you don’t want to be purposely attracting insects to your garden, but in the case of the most famous and most important pollinator on the planet, that is exactly what you want to do! The honey bee, or Apis Mellifera, is a keystone insect and essential to our food supply. As you have surely heard, they are facing some troubles right now and helping them out is the least we can do! Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden and limit your use of insecticide to very specific pests, and even then use the most eco-friendly option. Flowers you can plant are covered in this blog.

The State Tree

  • Every middle schooler and allergy sufferer is familiar with the cottonwood tree. Though there is some dispute as to which variety thrives best here, the official state tree of Kansas is the Easter Cottonwood. This fast growing tree is often credited for the success of pioneers on the plains of Kansas as it meant they had wood to build their cabins, water, since a mature cottonwood can use up to 100 gallons of water a day, and they had shade because the broad top of a cottonwood tree shades a large area.  They are also significant players in local habitats since so many animals call their branches home. If you choose to plant a cottonwood on your land, you’ll need to know that they can grow large very quickly and like to grown near water.

For all your gardening needs, from tools and muck boots to compost and mulch, be sure to turn to TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living. We have supplies as well as advice and even an on-staff arborist. If you need help with lawn maintenance or tree services, call us today to get on the schedule.