Are natives always easy to grow? Depends is the easy answer. Find out here the ins and outs you deserve to know, along with arguably the best and easiest natives to grow in the West.

5 Things Every Western Gardener Should Know Before Planting Native Plants

  • Where did that plant come from and why does it matter?
  • Native plants that make great alternatives to standard garden species
  • Creating native plant communities in your garden

Kathy SettevendemieKathy Settevendemie is the Owner-Operator of Blackfoot Native Plant Nursery, a wholesale nursery selling Montana native plants since 2003. She is a board member of the Montana Native Plant Society and conducts workshops on landscaping with native plants throughout western Montana in addition to providing consultations to landowners. Madeline Mazurski will be joining her.

Penstemons, the Nearly Perfect Perennials for Any Garden

  • Penstemon is a huge genus of native American plants, with over 280 species
  • There is a species for almost every garden niche: tall, short, arid, moist, hot cold, anything but deep shade
  • Penstemons are inherit survivors, and require very little effort to grow

JTpenningtonPlantProp120Bob Pennington. Together with his family Bob bought and revived a defunct plant nursery in 1975, knowing very little about business or growing plants for sale when they started (probably a key to their success he says). Bob is a past president of the American Penstemon Society (, a founding member and past president of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, a current board member of the Eriogonum Society (, a plant geek, with no formal plant education, and a husband, father, and grandfather.

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