Upper Midwest Water-Wise Garden Plans

Huckleberry, bluestem, blue sage and other native plants help create this water-conservation garden.
Upper Midwest Garden Plan

Upper Midwest Garden Plan

Plan ahead for a water-conserving upper Midwest garden.

Photo by: Landscape plan Leah Gardner/Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Landscape plan Leah Gardner/Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Plan ahead for a water-conserving upper Midwest garden.

A plethora of plants can help you keep your water bills low and your garden green. This handy plant list for water-conserving plants is your first step.

Plant List 

A. Box huckleberry (Gaylussacia brachycera) 
Alternative: Other medium shrub 3 to 5 feet tall 

B. Narrowleaf, plains yucca (Yucca glauca) 
Alternative: Other evergreen, drought-tolerant accent shrub 

C. Little bluestem (Schyzachyrium scoparium) 
Alternative: Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) or other ornamental grass or grass-like plant, one to 2 feet tall 

D. Blue sage (Salvia azurea) 
Alternative: Other flowering herbaceous plant, 2 to 3 feet tall 

E. Prairie phlox (Phlox pilosa) 
Alternative: Other flowering herbaceous plant, one to 2 feet tall 

F. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) 
Alternative: Rose verbena (Verbena canadensis) or other flowering groundcover, 6 to 12 inches tall 

G. Virginia iris (Iris virginica) 
Alternative: Blueflag iris (Iris versicolor) or other tough, small groundcover, 2 to 4 inches tall 

H. Field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) 
Alternative: Other moisture-tolerant herbaceous plant 

Upper Midwest Plan

Upper Midwest Plan

Use this site plan for a space that measures 50 feet wide.

Photo by: Landscape plan Leah Gardner/Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Landscape plan Leah Gardner/Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Use this site plan for a space that measures 50 feet wide.

Key 

1. Stepping stone
2. Porch/Landing
3. Rain chain 
4. Dry-stream bed 
5. Rock/small boulder 
6. Rock-lined basin or depression 

Next Up

Lower Midwest Water-Wise Garden Plans

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An Upper Midwest Sensory Garden Plan

This landscape plan provides a fragrant, colorful "wrap" for any patio.

Southeast Water-Wise Garden Plans

Purple coneflower, Mexican feather grass, blue flag iris, yucca and St. John's wort help add color and interest to this water-saving entryway garden.

Northwest Water-Wise Garden Plans

An earth-friendly exterior design helps conserve and recycle rainwater.

Southwest Water-Wise Garden Plan

Use this plan and plant list to create an earth-friendly entry garden that conserves and recycles rainwater.

Northeast Water-Wise Garden Plans

Use these plants recommended by HGTV to plan your low-water Northeast garden.

Water-Wise Garden Plans for the Rockies and High Plains

HGTV offers water-wise planting advice for gardeners in the Rockies and High Plains.

Upper Midwest Fruit Garden

Create a beautiful destination sitting area for your yard, and enjoy the fruits of cold-hardy cultivars.

Upper Midwest Meditation Garden Plan

Native plants and bamboo panels help make this a beautiful, low-maintenance garden retreat.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

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