pocket meadows

Asked February 13, 2020, 2:38 PM EST

Today's Washington Post Local Living section has a wonderful long article by Adrian Higgins about homeowners turning their tiny front and/or back yards into pocket meadows (a few square feet in size) using indigenous plants. We have a small back yard in a Columbia town house that I would like to turn into a pocket meadow to help the environment.

Does the Extension Service have any advice on how to do this and which local plants to use?

Thank you very much.

Howard County Maryland

3 Responses

Good morning. Thank you for reaching out to us about creating a pocket meadow with native plants. We have several great resources to help you with this.

First, I recommend reading through this article about how to make a meadow in Maryland. It is geared toward larger plantings, but the concepts would be similar for smaller-size plantings. https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/03/08/how-to-make-a-meadow-in-maryland-steps-for-year-1/

A list of recommended meadow plants for your area (Piedmont region of Maryland) can be found here, https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/uploaded/Recommended_Meadow_Species_Piedmont.pdf

Native meadows typically consist mostly of perennial grasses, but if you are looking for some nice flowering native plants that would work well in a small sunny location, consider any of the following:

Asters (Symphyotrichum sp.)
Goldenrods (Solidago sp.)
Mountain mint (Pychanthemum sp.)
Black-eyed Susans (Ruckbeckia hirta)
Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

The top three on this list are especially great for pollinators and beneficial insects.

You'll find additional information and more choices here,

You cannot go wrong simply by choosing 3 or 4 native plant species to get started with this season. To find native plants, check the following pages for spring plant sales and nurseries.


Thank you Christa, I appreciate your comprehensive information listing and the links you provided.

You're very welcome. Do let us know if you have any additional questions along the way.