Gateway Michael Carver Garden: Edward Scruggs, Oliver Tindle, and Rosemarie Schelling

Gateway Michael Elementary has always had a school garden but in recent years, it has taken on more importance. Edward Scruggs, Oliver Tindle, and Rosemarie Schelling are three teachers that have been vital in the success of the school garden.

When Edward Scruggs started at Gateway in 2000, the school had a small garden that was mostly led by teachers and PTA members.  Over time, those responsible for the garden retired and weed overtook many of the beds. In the spring of 2013, Edward Scruggs decided to bring the garden back to life. With the help of a group of volunteers, he spent the next few months digging out the weeds, planting new crops, and – because there was no irrigation system – hand-watering the entire garden himself.

He soon recruited Rosemarie Schelling and Oliver Tindle to help with garden maintenance, since they were both avid home gardeners. Rosemarie Schelling had started garden beds at Gateway Michael over 20 years ago and was eager to start the garden back up.  Mr. Tindle describes the revitalization of the garden as a “catalyst for change” and it brought new energy to the school. The garden inspired the entire staff to start a faculty exercise program to encourage each other to stay active. This enthusiasm spread throughout the building and in 2018, Gateway Michael received the Silver Award for America’s Healthiest Schools! President Bill Clinton praised Gateway Elementary and Gateway Michael as “one of the healthiest schools I have ever seen,” during his visit to the school in 2017.

Gateway Michael is a unique St. Louis Public School that serves students with severe deficits in cognitive, motor, and speech areas. In 2017, Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities (HSHC), an initiative funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health, helped make the garden space more accessible for students. They installed double-high raised beds and a wheelchair accessible pathway around many of the garden beds.

Scruggs, Tindle, and Schelling have found ways to incorporate the garden into special education, like having the students use hand shovels to move soil and directly observing weather patterns. In addition to being an outdoor classroom, Oliver Tindle says “The garden provides peace of mind and physical expression for the staff and students.”   The garden allows the students to feel responsible for something while being supported in a safe space. Rosemarie Schelling proudly shares that during a MAP test this past winter, one of her students was able to make a connection to something they had learned while being in the garden.

When asked about the garden, Edward Scruggs enjoys telling the story of giving a group of students a packet of cucumber seeds. One student was so excited because he knew pickles came from cucumbers from his time in the garden. Though he no longer has to hand water the garden, Edward Scruggs often spends hours working in the garden each afternoon. His initial goal “to make the garden look good” has grown into something much more. Scruggs wants to continue expanding the garden and dreams about growing enough for parents and community members to take the produce home. 


By Rachel Wilson, Education Americorps VISTA

Adams Elementary Spotlight: Albert Sanders and Connie Myers

Albert Sanders teaches preschool and the Saturday morning classes at Adams Elementary. In partnership with Connie Myers, from Washington University, Albert leads the school garden, Sun Patch Garden at Adams. This past summer, Albert was selected as one of the Missouri Regional Teachers of the Year for 2018-2019. They work with the students, volunteers, and community to create a space that everyone enjoys, utilizes, and are proud to be a part of.

The Sun Patch Garden has a variety of annual and perennial vegetable, flower, and fruit beds. The Saturday School at Adams – led by Albert and Connie – includes “Rooted in STEM” classes, where students are able to make scientific connections to the garden. This past spring, the students built a geodesic dome greenhouse to start seedlings. The greenhouse looks like a much smaller version of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Climatron!  The greenhouse extends the growing season into the winter, so they can grow more produce for the school and community.  


In addition to Saturday School lessons, the garden is used as an outdoor classroom by Albert and other teachers at Adam’s Elementary.  Albert’s preschoolers help out with the planting and celebrated Halloween with a Pumpkin Patch Hunt (check out the garden’s Facebook page to see the adorable photos!). Throughout the year, Adam’s teachers have access to produce from a tower garden and are encouraged to incorporate it into the classroom.  Parents of Adam’s Elementary students are also welcome to the produce.

With the help of Adam’s teachers and a team of Washington University volunteers (and of course, Albert and Connie), the Sun Patch Garden is maintained throughout the summer and school year. They hold monthly work days on Saturdays (even in the winter!) that are open to the public and gardeners of all levels. They recently set up a rain barrel irrigation system to make summer maintenance easier – Albert shared how to install a rain barrel irrigation at the Gateway Greening Community Agriculture Conference this past February!


Albert’s favorite memory in the garden is the first harvest of lettuce with the Rooted in STEM students. They grew lettuce, carrots, and radishes and had a salad party!  Connie enjoys seeing the students’ smiles and a sense of accomplishment as plants grow and are harvested throughout the year.  Connie says, “It inspires me to see the students share what they have learned with other students and proudly show their friends and parents, explaining in great detail what they have done in the garden.”

Albert and Connie’s collaboration and teamwork is undoubtedly a huge part of their success. Both are passionate about working with the students in the garden and making an impact in their community. They do acknowledge the need for “support from the administration and staff, and for them to believe in the importance of the school garden.” Perhaps, what the Sun Patch Garden can teach other school gardeners is that in order to have a thriving garden, the most important thing you need is a strong foundation!

To learn more about Albert, Connie, and what’s happening at the Sun Patch Garden, visit their website or Facebook page!

Farming While Black Book Report by Nick Speed

Nick Speed, Gateway Greening Educator

I recently read Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been combing through the book and blown away at all of the topics included. Each topic is centered around people of color, their contributions to agriculture, and the history of systemic discrimination in American agriculture.

The author, Leah Penniman, is the founder of Soul Fire Farm in New York. Her goal for the book was to create a manual “for African-heritage people ready to ready reclaim our rightful place of dignified agency in the food system”. Farming While Black also details her experiences as a farmer/activist, and how people with zero experience in gardening and farming can find real power and dignity through food. This comprehensive piece highlights topics including finding land and resources, restoring degraded land, healing from historical trauma, youth programming practices, and tangible ways for white people to build equitable authentic relationships with people of color and institutions/organizations led by people of color.

One of my favorite quotes can be found in the introduction and sets the tone for the book. “To farm while Black is an act of defiance against white supremacy and a means to honor the agricultural ingenuity of our ancestors.” To me, this quote highlights the importance of acknowledging not just the legacy of slavery and plunder of black and brown people in America, but the innovation, perseverance, contributions by people of color that helped advance American agriculture and our food systems.  

Pattonville School District Garden

Simon Amies, Pattonville School District Webmaster and leads the youth garden at the Pattonville School District’s Learning Center. 

After joining the Pattonville School District team, Simon Amies, an avid gardener with vegetable, berry, and herb gardens at home, noticed the absence of community and school gardens in the northwest area of Saint Louis County.  He approached the district with the idea of putting in a youth garden at the district Learning Center.  They not only approved the project, the district supported it with the installation of a sturdy perimeter fence, irrigation infrastructure, and a tiller that the district owned but had been gathering dust in a garage. Gateway Greening donated compost and trellises, and Simon’s Pattonville co-workers helped till the garden its first year.

The Pattonville District Garden is a great example of community members coming together for a common goal.  Since its creation, the garden has developed strategies for engaging people throughout the Pattonville community. The district, community, Chartwell’s food services, and Gateway Greening continue to play a large role in the success of the garden. In previous years, the garden has hosted annual seed swaps, seedling sales, gardening classes for community members, and community garden tours. The produce from the garden is used in school lunches, and Chartwell’s has conducted a series of veggie tastings with the students.  Kohlrabi went from being an unheard of vegetable to one of the kids’ favorites – especially if it’s dipped in ranch dressing! Even the local Starbucks donates coffee grounds each day.

In the district, Simon’s main “thing” is technology, and he enjoys teaching the connection between science, technology, and gardening.  He uses problem-based learning to provide students opportunities to use science to tackle an obstacle in the garden.  For example, one class used a raspberry pi computer to create a web-based sprinkler application for the garden that uses weather forecasts and past rainfall data to adjust watering schedules.  The application also allows the garden to be watered from any location. Pretty cool!  Having tangible results, like seeing the garden being watered by a system they created, inspired students.

Simon thinks of his role as being the “seasonal clock” for the gardens, facilitating the correct timing for various garden tasks, and empowering the faculty and students to get involved.   Teaching the kids that putting in a little bit of work in the garden early in the year can lead to big rewards come harvest time. When asked what his secret to success was, Simon replied that “There are fun things to do in the garden, but there are also not-so-fun things to do. By creating automated systems (like the sprinkler app) for those not-so-fun things, more time can be spend doing the ‘fun stuff’.”  

Simon wants to increase gardening across the district and make it easier for other teachers to incorporate the garden into their classroom. 

A new, exciting project at the Pattonville Learning Center is the installation of a large, glass-fronted refrigerator near the front desk.  During the growing season it will be stocked with excess garden produce to distribution to school families in need and to encourage healthy eating in the district.

Simon’s advice to other school gardeners: You need support! Ideally on an institutional level, but support from anywhere you can find it is extremely beneficial. Build relationships with people and find ways to work with people on their level.

Simon will be sharing his wisdom and strategies he’s used at the Pattonville Youth Garden at our Community Agriculture Conference in his session called “Youth Garden School Integration & Maintenance Strategies.”

Teacher Spotlight: Kerry Stevison

Kerry leads the Agriscience component for the Saint Louis Science Center’s Youth Exploring Science Program.  

The Youth Exploring Science (YES) Program is a work-based youth development program that uses science investigation to foster academic and professional skills.  The Agriscience component focuses on increasing the teens’ knowledge of plants, comfort with nature, and healthy eating habits.

Kerry originally joined the YES Program as part of a Climate Change grant, educating the teens’ on global warming.  When the grant ended, she took over the Agriscience component of the YES program. Though Kerry studied Biology in undergrad, she never took a botany class and had very little gardening experience.  But she loves being in nature and was inspired when she realized that the teens had little exposure to nature in their everyday lives.  Kerry recalled that during a gardening lesson with the teens, she pulled a persimmon from a tree and when she took a bite, the students were shocked that it was okay to eat fruit right off a tree.  

The garden is a large part of the Agriscience classroom and incorporates outdoor education into their indoor curriculum.  Teens have access to microscopes to observe plant cells and are able to interact with worms, salamanders, crickets that live in the classroom.  The teens use the gene editing technique CRISPR and raspberry pi computers in connection with the garden for their advanced science curriculum. For one project, in collaboration with the Danforth Center, the teens are using raspberry pi computing to create a “vegetable piano”.  Using vegetables from their garden, sensors are transmitted from the vegetable “keys” to activate sounds as if playing a piano. The teens are also currently applying for a grant for a hydroponics system they designed to grow clover for the Wildlife Rescue Center.

In addition to science, Kerry uses the YES garden to build a connections to food, health, and nature.  Since joining the department, she has incorporated a heavier focus on nutrition and healthy eating, even bringing in guest chefs to show teens how to use the food they’ve grown.  She believes it is important to have teens draw connections between food from the grocery store and food from the garden. In one lesson, the teens compared basil from the garden and the grocery store,  and they were able to see how much fresher basil from the garden was.

The teens enjoy harvesting their garden crops, but they also really like being able to teach younger children what they’ve learned in the outdoor classroom.  The opportunity to facilitate their own lessons empowers the teens to become the teachers. In collaboration with the Saint Louis Science Center GROW Exhibit, the teens were able to lead a lesson for children making “rice cake pizzas” using fresh basil picked from the garden.

Kerry’s favorite thing to plant with her students is tomatoes because she likes eating them! But she also enjoys working with native plants because even though they’re local to Missouri, it’s often the first time the teens are interacting with them.  

Her advice to other school gardeners is to get students to appreciate the little things in the garden like worms and bugs.  It’s all connected and it’s important to get students comfortable with being in nature!

How to Grow Rice in St. Louis

by: Dean Gunderson

Do you want to grow something totally different in your garden next year?  Something that will surprise everyone who sees it? How about rice?

This year, we grew rice at our Demonstration Garden and Lucy, our School Programs Manager, grew rice at the Gateway Elementary school garden.  Would you believe that the rice did great at both places?

When most people think of growing rice, they imagine a large flooded field somewhere in the humid tropical lowlands of Asia or whole mountainsides terraced so they can hold water to grow rice.  Although rice is originally from East Asia it is grown all over the world and not just in the tropics either.  In fact, Missouri is a major rice producer and it’s grow in places as far north as Russia, Poland, and northern Vermont.

Although people assume all rice needs to be grown in flooded conditions rice is actually a remarkably adaptable crop.  In addition to being able to grow in flooded conditions it can grow where the field is alternately flooded and dry and there are even types of rice, called upland rice, that grow just off of rainfall in fields just like corn and wheat.  

Because of its adaptability, you can grow rice in your own backyard here in Missouri.  You won’t get much rice unless you’re growing in a large area, but that shouldn’t stop you because there are many reasons why you should grow rice.

Rice is particularly a great plant to grow with children; it’s really easy to grow, has virtually no weed problems because of the flooding, and matches well with the school calendar.  It’s also just fun to grow grain.

Read on to find out how we grew flooded rice and how you can too!


The first and most important step is getting the right variety.  We started with a “japonica” rice variety, which is more adaptable to our northern climates because it is triggered to produce seed by day length, not by the length of the warm season.  This ensures you will get a crop, whereas if you grow traditional varieties there is a chance that you won’t get any grain at all. The variety we grew is called Koshihikari, which we purchased from Kitizawa Seed.  We now also sell the seed ourselves and you can get it at our Carriage House on Saturday’s or at our office Monday-Friday.  

Next, decide what type of “paddy” you will grow your rice in.  Koshihikari is a flooded rice, so you will need something that will retain water.  Whatever you plant it in will need to be at least a foot deep and watertight.  You can grow in containers like 5 gallon buckets, plastic tubs, old bathtubs, whatever you have that’s deep and watertight.  If you want to make a large area, a specially-made raised bed is your best bet, which is what we decided to do.

We built a double high raised bed that was 2’ tall. You can use our construction plans for a double high raised bed which has worked great for us.  If you decide to use a different design, make sure the different layers of boards stay together.

Once we built the bed, we lined the entire inside of the raised bed with three layers of plastic.  We just used a plastic drop cloth, which you can find in the painting section of any hardware store.

After lining the bed with plastic, fill the bed with a good garden soil mix.  For our raised beds, we used a mix made up of 50% topsoil and 50% compost.  

Now that you have your paddy, you’re ready for the easy part: growing the rice!

The best way to do this is to emulate the traditional way the people of Asia have grown paddy rice for thousands of years.  Rice is traditionally grown in one paddy and then transplanted to their final spot later.  Since our season is a bit short it’s best to have your “nursery paddy” inside.  Start the rice indoors in pots around mid April just like you would any other seedling.  Plant at least a few seeds per pot and keep them well watered.  Make sure they have a strong light source and be sure to thin each pot to just one seedling once they have germinated.

In mid-May, flood your rice paddy so that there is standing water about 2” above the soil surface. The next day, reflood if needed (water may have gone down as it fully saturates the soil) and plant your rice into the flooded paddy about 6” apart in rows that are 12” apart.

How do you plant into a flooded field you ask?  It’s really easy. The soil is so saturated you just take the roots of the seedling in your hand and push it into the soil, that’s it.

It was at this point that we started adding mosquito dunks to our rice paddy so that the standing water didn’t turn into a mosquito breeding ground.  Mosquito dunks are an organic way to kill mosquito larvae and can be purchased as granuales or donut-shaped blocks online.  One donut-shaped block lasts 30 days.  They are made up of a specific strain of BT, a bacteria that is toxic to mosquito larvae (but not to people or beneficial insects).

From mid-May until about mid-September, the only maintenance needed is to make sure the paddy stays flooded.  If there are any weeds, pull them out – we had one weed all year.

By early August, you will start to see the seed heads popping up from the stalks.

In September, your seed heads will start to droop.  When they start to droop like this, stop watering your rice.  Let the soil dry out and no longer keep it flooded.

Over the next few weeks, the water level will drop and the seed will turn a golden color.  When the drooped seed heads turn a golden brown and the leaves are still green it is time to harvest.

To harvest, cut all of the stems at ground level.  Lay the plants out on a table or somewhere that has good air circulation, but is protected from birds.  If they are not protected from birds, they will eat all of your rice!

Let it lie out to dry for at least a few weeks, moving the plants around every few days so that it dries completely and doesn’t mold.  When the stems have turned to a straw color, they are ready to process!

To learn how to process the rice into edible grains check out our blog post on that subject here

Give STL Day 2018

Support the Future of St. Louis Community Gardens on St. Louis Gives Day 2018

The Power of Growing Food


About Give STL DayChild enthusiastically eats greens.

Give STL Day is a 24-hour day of online giving happening this year on May 2. It is an opportunity for Gateway Greening to invite the community of St. Louis to help us further the work that we do.

Gateway Greening supports more than 200 community and school gardens in the St. Louis area, that do more than provide a beautifying space in communities. They connect residents of all ages and backgrounds to their food and to each other. Gardens provide joyful spaces where people can interact and share their lives and the fresh food that they grow.


Ways to Participate

Visit on May 2, 2018 and give.  

Schedule your donation in advance using a credit card beginning April 9. You will then be charged on May 2.  

Get reminded on May 2 to give: sign up for our email newsletter.

Need a Reminder Email?




Giving Grove at Work

Giving Grove at Work
Old Ferguson West Community Garden orchard installation with Giving Grove, Fall 2017.

At Gateway Greening we believe St. Louis is only as strong as its communities. Our vision is a region where people are connected to the land, to their food, and to each other in deeply rooted, resilient urban communities. Since 1984, Gateway Greening has supported food-producing community projects. However, community groups want to grow more than just vegetables, they want to expand their projects to grow fruit and nut crops. In 2017, Gateway Greening partnered with the Giving Grove of Kansas City, MO to bring their community orchard program to St. Louis. This program will allow us to assist community groups in growing a broad diversity of fruit and nut crops that are naturally disease resistant, using a holistic management program that the Kansas City Giving Grove has been using successfully for five years.


As of fall 2017, the Giving Grove in Kansas City has provided over 2,000 fruit and nut bearing plants across Kansas City, and we hope to plant many more here in St. Louis in the years to come. Rob Reiman, the Giving Grove’s Executive Director said, “We are beyond thrilled to be able to collaborate with Gateway Greening to help bring sustainable orchards to more food insecure communities in the St. Louis area.” Small community orchards have incredible potential to produce fresh produce for many St. Louis communities. An average Giving Grove orchard in Kansas City contains 15 trees and is capable of producing over 3,500 pounds of produce each year once the plants reach maturity.


Giving Grove
Gateway elementary students hard at work moving compost and fresh soil for the new Giving Grove orchard installed at their school.

To date, Giving Grove orchards in St. Louis have been installed at Old Ferguson West Community Garden, Stix ECC Early Childhood Center, Gateway Elementary School, Gateway Michael Elementary School, Central Reform Congregation Community Garden, and Florissant Community Garden.


Who is eligible for a Giving Grove?

Over the years, we have found that community groups who complete our garden development process create long-lasting, supported, community spaces. We believe that new orchards will be similarly sustainable and locally beneficial if they are community-led projects.

Gateway Greening Network gardens will be able to request Giving Grove orchard plants and materials through the newly created Orchard Expansion Application in May and October. Non-network community groups will be asked to complete our development process. This process assists community groups in identifying local resources, engaging community members, and creating long-term management plans. Once completed, the orchard project will be considered “in-network” and eligible for all of the same benefits as community gardens, in addition to the tools and materials specific to orchards.


What is the Cost of an Orchard?

There is a one-time cost for materials when installing a Giving Grove, however, in order to make orcharding accessible for everyone in St. Louis, we are offering scholarships that will reduce the cost of installation by 50% or 90%.

For the one time cost, community groups will receive: the plant, support stakes or poles, soil amendments during planting, additional soil, burlap, wood chip mulch, and tree wraps. The per plant costs vary from $5-$50 depending on the size and type of plat installed.


Learning to Care for a Giving Grove Orchard

Proper care and maintenance is important for the long-term health and productivity for any orchard. Gateway Greening will be offering ongoing, free education for anyone who wishes to learn more about orchard care. Please visit our events calendar to learn more about upcoming orchard classes.


Start an Orchard with Gateway Greening

Please visit the Giving Grove page on our website or contact Community Projects Manager Dean Gunderson at [email protected] or at 314-588-9600 x108 to learn more.


Giving Grove at Work.
Giving Grove installation at Florissant Community Garden with garden members and volunteers from The Burning Kumquat (Washington University) and Gateway Greening.

Voice from the Tower Grove East Community Garden

Tower Grove East Community Garden, 2002.


Written by Mary Anne Pikrone, Tower Grove East Community Garden Leader.


Three and a half years ago, as my husband and I were taking a get-acquainted drive through the neighborhood we chose to live in, we came upon folks working in the Tower Grove East Community Garden. I’d given up backyard gardens in Richmond, VA., and Toledo, Ohio, and was prepared to do with just a postage stamp yard behind our new location on Louisiana Ave. So I walked into the garden, asked about available beds, and within a couple weeks, I was happily planting tomato seedlings in my new plot a half block from where we moved. It made me feel at home again.


Meanwhile, I kept hearing about Gateway Greening but didn’t really understand what the organization was. I did note our sign said the garden was established by GG in 1999– long before I moved here.


I got more involved in the Tower Grove East Community Garden, and that’s when I came to appreciate what a wonderful resource Gateway Greening is. I visited their headquarters and took the required course for garden officers. I attended their early spring conferences, where I learned community gardening techniques and met others who are just as passionate about urban gardening as I am. And, best of all, I discovered Gateway Greening’s volunteer services.


Tower Grove East Community Garden, Summer of 2008.

Frankly, we wouldn’t be where we are today–nor would we look as good–if it were not for the volunteers Gateway Greening has sent us. We’ve had folks from Minnesota who mightily struggled, and prevailed, in 90-degree weather under brutal sunlight; they weren’t used to such heat.


We’ve had seminarians and families who’ve helped us. We’ve had up to several dozen people–I call them worker bees–who have descended on our grounds, worked furiously in often very hot weather and left the place neat and clean. I must say the most impressive were the high school track team girls (can’t remember from where), who conquered deep roots that our gardeners hadn’t been able to budge. Yes, I have to say they definitely out-weeded the guys.


Then, late last year, Gateway Greening arrived with much-needed tools to refurbish our tool shed. What a gift! Now, of course, I hope to apply for a new arbor/trellis from them. When I have friends visit, I always give them a tour of the garden and explain about Gateway Greening, a wonderful umbrella organization of more than 200 urban community gardens.


Meanwhile, we’re determined to keep improving the garden. Thanks to Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, the city installed new sidewalks and replaced ancient steps leading up to the garden this fall. We paid to have our 100-year-old plus retaining wall tuckpointed; it had been cracking and chipping.


It’s great to know Gateway Greening has our back.

Planting and Planning for Pollinators

Most gardeners know that encouraging pollinators is good for their growing plants, but not everyone knows that increased diversity of pollinators can mean more vegetables to harvest.

One of the best ways to ensure that your garden thrives every year is by taking the time to plan before you plant.

While deciding which varieties of peppers to grow is an important choice, choosing which plants to encourage native pollinators can be just as vital to creating a flourishing garden.

Factors to Consider

Seasonality–When deciding what to plant to nurture native pollinators in your garden, considering when various plants will bloom is of the utmost importance. Bees and other native pollinators need sources of nectar and/or pollen during the time that they are foraging and creating nests. To provide these sources of fuel, be sure to select plants that will bloom throughout the growing season.

Gateway Greening’s Strategy: In our Demonstration Garden, there is a wide variety of native flowers. When first planted, these plants were designed to bloom throughout the growing season, but more aggressive fall flowering plants have crowded out the spring flowering. Luckily, there are other parts of the Demonstration Garden that have only spring flowering

Native Yarrow thrives near the fence of the Demonstration Garden.

plants, ensuring that pollinators always have resources to utilize.

Plant Placement–To maximize the benefit that native plants offer in your garden, placement can be an important consideration. When plants are grouped in large patches, instead of being by themselves, they can offer more resources to pollinators.

Bordering your edible plants with native flowering plants can also improve pollination of your edible plants as well as provide pollinators with even more resources to thrive, leading to more vegetables being produced.

Gateway Greening’s Strategy: In both the native pollinator area and wildlife garden in the Demonstration Garden, native plants are grouped in large patches. Gateway Greening tries to plant native plants directly into the ground in order to save space in raised beds, especially since native plants thrive in Missouri’s clay-filled soil. Otherwise unused space is also used strategically in other parts of the garden such as the small area next to the roadside fence, where ornamental plantings bloom throughout the season.

Pollinators love the purple blooms of chives.

Plant Varieties to Consider

Native Yarrow–Though some consider it to be a weed, yarrow is a native, flowering perennial that attracts butterflies with its white flowers and long bloom time.

Anise Hyssop–This herbaceous perennial is attractive to a variety of native pollinators. Its fragrant, purple blossoms stick around from June to September, making it a beautiful and edible addition to any garden.

Chives–Another edible that attracts native pollinators, chives bloom in the late spring and early summer to ensure that pollinators stick around all season.

Garlic Chives–Though similar to chives, garlic chives bloom in the late summer and early fall, which can be a time when other plants are not flowering.

Aster–In addition to having large, purple flowers, aster is notable for its late bloom time, which stretches into October.

Witch Hazel–Though you might know it from the first aid aisle, witch hazel is unique for both its interesting blooms and very early bloom time, which can begin as early as January.

Native Passionflower (Maypop)–Related to the tropical passion fruit, this unusual flower has a long bloom time and is much loved by bumblebees.

Other great choices to encourage native pollinators in your garden include perennial edibles that flower such as selvatica, oregano, thyme, chives, garlic chives, lemon balm, and mint.

Gateway Greening’s Strategy: Last year, garlic chives, chives, and thyme were planted at the ends of raised beds that contained vegetables. These pollinator attracting perennials are edible and flower beautifully.

Though many of these native plants make St. Louis gardens more efficient, they also can add beauty to their surroundings. Many of them produce gorgeous, colorful blooms that can

Witch Hazel has unique blooms.

light up a neighborhood.

To see all the strategies that Gateway Greening utilizes to encourage pollinators, come take a tour of the Demonstration Garden on Saturday, March 17, 10am – 11am or just stop by at 3841 Bell Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays. Check out even more opportunities to visit the space here.

For more information on which native plants thrive in Missouri, check out these resources!