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Announcing SNUG HARBOR Native Plant Demonstration Garden

Updated: May 16, 2023

Town of Farmington:

Snug Harbor - Demonstration Garden

May 2023 a native plant demonstration garden was installed at the Town of Farmington's Snug Harbor location. Native plants are critical to the health of the Chain O' Lakes and its ecosystem. Native plants are low maintenance, have large deep roots to help guard against erosion, provide vital habitat for wildlife, and provide valuable resources for birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects.

Many thanks to Paul Skawinksi, UW Stevens Point, Extension Lakes, for his support and guidance. Thank you also to the WCOLA volunteers who helped to make this happen.

Bridget O'Brien, Julie Mazzoleni, Paul Skawinski, Paul Mazzoleni, Fawn Johnson


Below are the native plants installed at Snug Harbor. At the bottom of the blog are local resources and suppliers to help YOU create your own native plant garden.

SWAMP MILKWEED, Asclepias incarnata

A tall herbaceous moisture-loving perennial, swamp milkweed seeks sunny openings in swamps, marshes, bogs, fens and open areas along streams banks and ditches. This robust and erect stemmed plant grows three to five feet high. It will thrive in average

garden soils as long as it does not dry out completely, especially in the spring. Swamp milkweed attracts a abundance of butterflies, especially the monarch butterfly. Besides nectaring, the monarch butterfly only lays its eggs on milkweeds. This plant is an excellent addition to a native plant garden.

BEBB'S SEDGE - Carex bebbi

Perennial sedge prefers full sun and medium-wet soil. Commonly found around river and lake edges, as well as marsh and wetland areas. It is a clump forming, fine textured plant with a cascadeing appearance which adds variety and interest of shapes and textures to native garden landscapes.


Grows during the spring and fall when soil temperatures are cool. Bottlebrush grass provides texture and interest in shaded areas and is a larval host to the Northern Pearly Eye (Lethe anthedon) butterfly.

PURPLE CONEFLOWER - Echinacea purpurea

Easy to grow, Echinacea purpurea prefers full to partial sun and medium soil conditions. It is somewhat drought resistant and blooms June-September. Some Purple Coneflowers may re-bloom in the fall. Echinacea Purpurea matures to 4' in height. Large showy flowers are a favorite nectar source for butterflies, bees and other pollinators, including hummingbirds. In late summer the large seed heads attract Goldfinches and other birds.

BLUE FLAG IRIS - Iris versicolor

Blue Flag Iris matures to 24-36" in height and grows best in wet to average soil conditions. Iris versicolor prefers full sun to partial shade and blooms approximately May, June and July. It has deep blue to purple flowers which are complex and very showy, the foliage is sward-like. Flowers attract native bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

BLUE CARDINAL FLOWER -Lobelia siphilitica

This perennial grows well in medium to wet soils, especially with a little shade. it is found in wet prairies, soggy meadows, ponds, creek edges, marshland borders and

other moist areas. Blue Cardinal flowers grow large, deep blue-violet spikes which attract many bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

NEW ENGLAND ASTER - Symphyotichum novae-angliae

New England Aster is a late season bloomer, with purple flowers and orange-yellow center. It matures to 5' tall. This perennial blooms late summer to October providing important nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. It thrives in full sun to light shade and is drought tolerant.




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Waupaca Chain O'Lakes Association

Stewardship and Resources Committee

Committee Chair: Julie Mazzoleni Co-Chair: Fawn Johnson

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