The Q&A Archives: Combining two different tastes

Question: I live in Omaha, NE and me and my boyfriend want two different things. He likes only things that need no maintnance and have little or no color. I would love color everywhere but I know this is not an option. Do you have any suggestions as to what we could do with our yard to please both of us?

Answer: When I think of low maintenance, non-demanding plants, I think of native plants. Once established in the garden they are about as carefree as a plant can be. Most provide habitats for birds because some produce berries.

Here's a rather extensive list of native plants for you to consider:
Shrubs (evergreen)
Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush, Great Basin sagebrush)
Cercocarpus montanus (mountain mahogany, silverleaf mountain mahogany)
Juniperus communis (common juniper)
Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper, creeping savin)

Shrubs (deciduous)
Amelanchier alnifolia (saskatoon, western serviceberry, Juneberry)
Amelanchier arborea (downy serviceberry, shadbush, Juneberry)
Amorpha canescens (leadplant)
Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo, Indigo bush)
Atriplex canescens (four-wing saltbush, wingscale)
Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea, red root)
Chrysothamnus nauseosus (rabbit brush, chamisa)
Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua (swamp dogwood, silky dogwood)
Cornus drummondii (rough-leaf dogwood)
Cornus sericea (red-twig dogwood, red-osier dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazelnut or filbert)
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut or filbert)
Euonymus atropurpurea (wahoo, burning bush)
Krascheninnikovia lanata (winterfat)
Lonicera dioica (limber or wild honeysuckle)
Prunus pumila var. besseyi (sand cherry)
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Ribes odoratum (buffalo currant, golden currant)
Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)
Rosa blanda (early wild rose, smooth rose)
Rosa setigera (Illinois or prairie rose)
Rosa woodsii (western wild rose, woods rose)
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (red raspberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry, thimbleberry)
Salix interior (sand-bar willow)
Sambucus canadensis (elderberry, common elder)
Sarcobatus vermiculatus (greasewood)
Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)
Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry, Indian currant)
Viburnum lentago (black haw, nannyberry)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Cystopteris fragilis (fragile fern)
Dryopteris cristata (crested wood fern, buckler fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain beeplant)
Coreopsis tinctoria (tickseed, goldenwave, plains coreopsis, calliopsis)
Euphorbia marginata (snow-on-the-mountain)
Eustoma grandiflorum (prairie or catchfly gentian, Texas bluebell)
Gaillardia pulchella (Indian blanket, firewheel)
Helianthus annuus (common sunflower)
Helianthus petiolaris (plains sunflower)
Ipomopsis longiflora (white-flowered gilia)
Linum rigidum (yellow flax)
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (tahoka daisy, tansy aster)
Oenothera albicaulis (pale evening primrose)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oenothera rhombipetala (diamond-petal primrose, four-point evening primrose)
Pectis angustifolia (limoncillo, fetid marigold)
Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan)
Senecio glabellus (butterweed)
Senecio plattensis (prairie ragwort, prairie groundsel)
Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (thelesperma, greenthread)
Townsendia exscapa (Easter daisy)

I'll bet you'll find lots of easy maintenance plants to enjoy in your garden!

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