Although Strauch’s "Wildflower of the Berkshires" is an excellent reference, it has a fatal flaw. Strauch’s book includes pictures and descriptions of invasive aliens (including some of the top ten thugs) without identifying them as invasive. So a real novice should not use that book as a reference for what to plant in this area. Much better would be to start with Project Native’s plant catalogue (online, available by mail or at the nursery). A newcomer to the area or to gardening overall would find Project Native to be a fine place to start and could easily use their resources to create a magnificent wildflower garden.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.