Besa Schweitzer

  • LOCATION: Lemay, Missouri
  • Bird and pollinator habitat including hedgerows and host plants
  • Extensive rainscaping with both garden basins and swales
  • Large suburban lot with urban challenges 
  • Over 100 native plant species and adding more all the time

Besa’s quarter acre lot was an entirely non native landscape of lawn, blue spruce, magnolia, hosta, and daylily in 2011. All of that has been totally transformed starting with a blue wild indigo on Earth Day. Garden features include four rain gardens, a woodland stream buffer, native fruit trees, prairie garden, rain swales, native annuals, composting, and rain barrels. Her garden is a place to try new ideas, get to know new plants, and experiment. 

The garden is entered through the side yard gate on wood chip paths and expands down a slight hill towards the back of the property. Besa has been gardening with native plants since 1994 and doing it professionally since 2003. After working at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Shaw Nature Reserve, she now runs her own native landscaping consulting business and recently published The Wildflower Garden Planner.