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The Wildflower Garden Planner

The Wildflower Garden Planner
An Interactive Guidebook to Native Landscaping
in Missouri
Besa Schweitzer

During the pandemic I started writing a book about native gardening. I have organized it as a monthly workbook to help the gardener keep track of tasks through the year. The workbook is 190 pages printed in black and white with a few sketches. Keep this planner handy with the gardening tools to keep on track with seasonal tasks.

This interactive guidebook will lead you through each month with a list of tasks to complete. There is plenty of space to take notes as you work through the planner year after year. This planner is intended for beginning and intermediate gardeners or experienced gardeners new to native plants. Short essays throughout the book introduce timely topics related to native plant gardening. The content of this book is just a tendril in the river of native landscaping knowledge.


For the beginner gardener there might seem to be an overwhelming number of tasks to do in the garden. I hope this planner will help you keep track of tasks from year to year. It is okay to not do all the tasks each year. If you skip a task this year, try to do it the next time around.

Purchasing by mail:

  • $20 if you want it mailed to you. You can send me a check,  venmo, or square.

  • If you want an autograph make a note on your purchase.

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Events where you can find me:


Presentation in Collinsville

March 10 at Willoughby Farm

Native Plant Fair

April 28th at Beyond Housing

Shaw Nature Reserve Spring Wildflower Market
May 3 | 3-7 p.m. Member Preview
May 4 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. General Public, free admission


Garden Expo

Feb 11 at Rolling Ridge Nursery

The Native Garden: A Q&A Workshop 

March 4th at Buder library

Arcadia Wild Ones, March 11 in Farmington

Native Plant Fair

April 30th at Beyond Housing

Shaw Nature Reserve Spring Wildflower Market
May 5 | 3-7 p.m. Member Preview
May 6 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. General Public, free admission

Monarch Madness

Sept 16th at Weldon Springs

Bring Conservation Home Plant Sale

Oct 1st at Tower Grove Park


Native Plant Workshop at Powder Valley April 9, 10 am – 2 pm.

Native Plant Fair, Saturday, April 10, 9 am – 2 pm.

St Louis Open Yards, Sunday May 1 registration required

Shaw Nature Reserve Spring Wildflower Market May 6-7

Maypop’s Pollinator Pop-up!, June 25th, in Webster Groves

Presentation at Shepherds Center, June 30th at 11:30am

St Louis Open Yards, Sunday July 10, registration required

Book Signing at Garden District STL, Sunday July 16

World Bird Sanctuary Saturday Sept 10th

St Louis Open Yards, Sunday Sept 11, registration required

Pollinator Workshop at Powder Valley Sept 17th

Roeslein Plant Sale September 30th In Crestwood

The Wildflower Garden Planner is also available at the St Louis county library


About the author:

Besa is a native garden specialist with over 20 years experience gardening with native plants. Besa first started work in plant conservation at Missouri Botanical Garden in 2003 but quickly transferred to Shaw Nature Reserve to work in native plant horticulture until 2016. Today she does native garden consultations for homeowners and schools. She also volunteers with Wild Ones, Bring Conservation Home, Missouri Master Naturalists, and many other conservation minded organizations around St Louis.

Thankyou to my friends and the entire native plant community in St Louis who have always encouraged my writing.

Especially, Terri, Prem, Linda, Cori, Susan, Anne, Marsha, and my family, thankyou for your help and support of this project. 

Also much thanks to St Louis Wild Ones, Grow Native!, and Shaw Nature Reserve for the excellent resources they provide.


SBYN Member Writes Book!

One of our original Tour hosts, Besa Schweitzer, put the days of Covid lockdown to exceptional use: she wrote a book!

Called The Wildflower Garden Planner*, the 190-page workbook offers a month-by-month guide to native plants and includes several sustainable principles we heartily endorse, such as gardening for insects and wildlife, rainscaping, composting and even hugelkultur!

Besa and I first met in the Permaculture Reading Club that used to meet in Richmond Heights and over the years, the yard she and hubby Chris created in Affton has been the source of more post-tour inquiries than just about any other garden! Lovers of native plants, wildlife and permaculture practices, the Schweitzers have been early advocates and innovators, installing novel ponds and composting systems as well as beautiful, food-and-forage producing gardens on their expansive suburban property.

Besa began working in plant conservation at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 2003 and ended up working in native plant horticulture at Shaw Nature Reserve. She left there in 2016 to launch her own consulting business specializing in native plant landscaping: “Besa Grows Wild”.

We are excited to share her book with you. A planner and handy guide, the Wildflower Garden Planner will lead you through the seasons with specific tasks and timely suggestions. With ample room for note taking, the planner is designed to assist both novice and intermediate gardeners as well as old pros newly exploring the world of natives. Order a copy for yourself and a friend or two here for only $15. And if that's not enough, you can always call her for a consultation!

Congratulations Besa! Writing is hard work. :)

Review by Terry Winkelmann in the Sustainable Backyard Network Newsletter February 2022

The Wildflower Garden Planner by Besa Schweitzer welcomes novices and encourages experienced gardeners to take a more expansive look at how they can create backyard habitats. Organizing tasks by month, Schweitzer empowers readers with information that can support their success as gardeners and essential stewards of the land. 

April Anderson, naturalist, writer, sustainable horticulturist,

"Besa's book is an excellent resource for native plant gardeners in Missouri."

-Dan Pearson, St. Louis Audubon's Bring Conservation Home Program Coordinator

"Besa’s book is a sterling example of her success in making native plants more visible."

By Savannah Furman
Wild Ones, St Louis

New Book for Local Native Plant Lovers

Besa Schweitzer, a local native plant specialist, has put together a new garden planner for native plant enthusiasts. The Wildflower Garden Planner is a month-by-month guide to what is going on in a native garden and what chores the gardener may need to attend to to get the most enjoyment and success from their native plants, the beauty they provide, and the wildlife they support. The planner includes tips, suggestions, plant lists, and observations, plus Besa’s illustrations to support the copy, and blank spaces where readers can keep their own notes, illustrations or photos. Besa finds much to do, observe and ponder in every month, and each season receives an equitable amount of space, whether it’s seemingly dormant months of January and February to the bustling seasons spring through fall. Besa has aimed the book at beginning and intermediate gardeners, but even experienced gardeners will find delight as they read along from month to month. Best of all, the information is specific to our local region, growing conditions and plants native to this area.

That she can find as much to write about in deep winter as in the growing season is testament to her observation skills inherent since childhood and honed through more than 20 years working with native plants, including 13 years working at Shaw Nature Reserve. Since 2016, Besa has been working as a native garden consultant for homeowners and schools, and also volunteers with organizations including Wild Ones, Bring Conservation Home (St. Louis Audubon Society), Missouri Master Naturalists, and other conservation-minded groups. The book is available for $15 ($20 if you want it mailed) from her website,

Review by Robert Weaver in The Gateway Gardener March 2022

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