5 Native Plants Benefits
Using native plants in landscape design is ironically an inspiring way to stand out on your block. Garden maintenance is hard work and can be costly, but immensely rewarding. Requiring a fraction of the hard work and cost that most conventional gardens would require, your native plant garden provides all the satisfaction and more, restoring natural habitats and doing good deeds daily for the environment. Planting according to climate and available resources has only recently gained traction in the world of landscaping, although the benefits are exponential and can begin in your own front yard. Here are only 5 of the endless, great reasons to incorporate native plants into your garden.
1. Reconstructing pieces of our native landscape can provide a deeper understanding about where we live
Contributing shade loving ferns and coastal sunflowers to the grace of the mighty oak above, seeing a wetland plant and inferring a water source nearby. These subtle signs of nature help us to appreciate symbiotic relationships between not only a tree and its shrubs, but ourselves and the peace we feel in an environment grounded by a sense of place.
2. Encourage and sustain the local ecosystem
We can support pollination by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees if we plant nectar-giving flowers like morning glories. Cute and curious wildlife, like squirrels and bunnies, will be at home in the localized environments facilitated by natives. You could tempt critters to come around by planting herbs and flowers like lavender and yarrow (although these animals are also notorious for decimating young crops!). Just the same, not all natives attract these animals, and if unwanted, this type of wildlife is easily avoidable. Nevertheless, the more diversity in your garden, the more insects, birds, wildlife and sounds to enjoy.
3. All the benefits without all the fuss
You can have the beauty of a carefully manicured garden, but requiring only a portion of the water and upkeep. The loveliness of native plants is in the essence of their natural habitat, and therefore do not require pesticides, fertilizer, or much pruning. Such maintenance habits, like pesticides, herbicides and overwatering, are common causes of pollution in our rivers and air. Without too much waste, we can happily improve our environment at no cost to the beauty of the landscape.
4. Alter or improve microclimates
With the correct conditions and thoughtful planning, our gardens magically become microclimates reflecting a desert arroyo, a wet woodland, or a subtropical paradise. We can literally create ourselves our own little worlds. Depending on the careful selection of colors and textures mimicking those of our preferred landscapes, we create comforting and peaceful, or exhuberating and energizing microclimates out of the flora and fauna found in our favorite places.
5. Personalized art
Art is a personal expression. By using unique colors, combinations, textures and sizes, within the landscape, the beauty we imagine can be communicated as a universal language that the world can enjoy, growing and blooming into new creations every day. Choosing themes can help us design artful landscapes based on plants’ climate, family, community, or how they are horticulturally compatible. We can think and experiment, try new combinations, and discover new, exciting bonds and relationships.
Van Atta Associates has been a leader in environmentally focused landscape architecture for over 30 years. We endeavor to spread knowledge and interest in order to save our environment.