One of the fastest ways to liven up a garden is to attract local wildlife. Birds, butterflies and other native wildlife add beauty to your garden and help you get in touch with nature. The best way to attract wildlife is to landscape using native plants, which birds and other wildlife easily identify as sources of food and shelter.
Native plants have other benefits — if you’re the kind of gardener who strives for a natural look with minimal effort, native plants are the ideal choice for your garden.
Perfectly Adapted to Local Conditions
Native plants are perfectly adapted to your local climate, rainfall and soil composition — after all, they’ve grown in your area for thousands of years. This means local plants require very little maintenance and care. You don’t need to use fertilizer, and the plants naturally resist local pests and disease.
You save water and labor as well as fertilizer and pesticide costs while strengthening local biodiversity. Native wildflowers are self-sowing, so you don’t have to replant every spring.
Aren’t Native Plants Plain?
People sometimes assume native plants are somehow plainer and drabber than non-native plant life. Anyone who’s ever seen a field of wildflowers knows this is completely untrue. Wildflower beds are a blaze of color and give your garden the look, feel and fragrances of a country cottage.
When planting wild flowers, clumps of related species give the flower bed the look of a natural landscape. You can opt for a mix of colors or plant single species for a more controlled look.
Pollution and Native Plants
With the strange and foreboding population collapse of honeybee hives, gardeners may need to relay on other pollinators. Native plants, especially native flowers, attract local pollinators. Add a few rows of native flowers around your vegetable garden, and your harvest will be the better for it.
Native plants aren’t just for show. Gardeners who grow beans, squash and corn varieties that have adapted to the local climate will generally see larger yields than non-native versions. Berries and nut trees provide food for humans and bird alike.
Perhaps most importantly, a native plant garden connects you to the larger environment. You can create a vibrantly landscaped garden while helping maintain local grasses and flowers, many of which are under attack from habitat destruction and invasive plants. When it comes to gardens, go native.