Monday, April 16, 2012

Why Choose Native Plants?

It seems like lots of homeowners are interested in native plants this year. It's been the most requested item from my landscape design clients this year. Everyone wants to know about natives, and why they should include them on their property.

I started writing this post, then came across some information that one of my wholesale plant suppliers, Midwest Groundcovers, came up with and thought they had a really comprehensive list of reasons we should support native plant gardens. The list below is credited to Midwest Groundcovers.

Why use native plants?
  • Require no chemical fertilizers
  • Require little or no pesticides
  • Require little or no water if sited correctly [and I'll add, once established]
  • Provide food and shelter for wildlife. Favorite food for birds and butterflies because they co-evolved together.
  • Are long lived and adapted to our area's environmental conditions (climate extremes, soils, sun, wind, topography, etc.)
  • Provide ecological diversity
  • Are beautiful
  • Improve water quality; reduces the runoff or chemicals into our lakes, ponds, and streams
  • Studies show that a natural habitat improves our mental health
  • Part of our heritage
Native plants really bring me a sense of calm and connection with the earth. I'm not a native plant purist, but they make up the majority of the plants in my landscape and I can see what affect this is having on the wildlife diversity in my yard.

If you want to pick up some natives for your yard, visit me when I volunteer at the Wheaton Native Plant Sale on April 28. It's a great opportunity to grab some native trees, shrubs, and perennials grown by The Possibility Place Nursery.

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