Native Plants Matter

The wonder of natives
In late April (the weekend of the 29th and 30th to be exact), we are holding our annual Native Plant Sale & Gardening Seminars here at TWC.  You might have noticed that native plants have been hitting the news more and more in recent years. Perhaps you’re wondering ‘why all the fuss?’

Many of us enjoy working in our gardens. It can be a real stress-buster, helping us head back indoors in a calmer, happier frame of mind. We want our garden to be beautiful, practical, safe and a haven for wildlife. Perhaps we don’t want to do those high maintenance lawns either. If that sounds like you then read on.

 

What is a native anyway?
Native species can be either indigenous (found both within the immediate region and elsewhere) or endemic (found only within a particular region).  Here in Ohio many native species have become endangered because of the loss of habitat and competition from introduced species that out-compete the natives but provide a far less hospitable environment for other wildlife.

 

Easy on you. Easy on nature. Easy on the eye.

Even if you have a bit of a black thumb, natives offer low effort for high return; quite simply they are easier because they were ‘born ready’ for your soil and climate. They don’t need any expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides to thrive and produce stunning wildlife friendly gardens. Once they’re established a garden full of native plants needs less water and is more in balance with what nature provides.

Native plants provide food and shelter for the birds, butterflies and all the other creatures we cherish and delight in watching. If you have kids around, native plants are a great way to help introduce them to the wonders of nature!

With a wide range of flowers through the seasons from the soft pastels to the showy bright yellows and reds, and a variety of forms and foliage, native plants will bring both color and structure to your garden; in the fall many of the plants produce plentiful colorful fruits and seeds for you to enjoy.  If you choose to plant native you’ll soon have a yard that’s not just stunning but friendly for native wildlife too.

Urban sprawl and the modern obsession with perfectly manicured lawns that require high levels of pesticides and herbicides have created a 40 million acre mono-crop of green across the country – that’s more than any other crop. To maintain that expanse of lawn takes over 70 million pounds of pesticides each year, that pesticide can run off and contaminate rivers and lakes, and those lawns support very few species and do nothing to help the climate – just think of all that lawn mower exhaust.

By doing your bit to help restore native plant habitat you’ll be helping to preserving and even increase biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, you are creating a patch of habitat that becomes part of a collective quilt that nurtures and sustains the living landscape for other wildlife, and ultimately for humans too.  Those colorful butterflies and birds you enjoy will love your garden and you’ll be the envy of your neighbors, so get planting native!


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