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Restoring native habitat to our surroundings is like pressing the "refresh" button on biodiversity. Homeowners who embrace native gardening are making big contributions to healthy landscapes, which is great for maintaining the native ecosystems.
Making a Difference—Beautifully
Native plants are the greenery that would grow in certain areas with or without human intervention. These plants evolved along with the rest of the living community in the same area, meaning native, dynamic gardening brings in more than plants. It buzzes with life and energy, above and below the soil - from flitting birds to pollinating insects.
The impact of native plant species on even a small stretch of land is impressive. Areas where oak trees thrive, for example, can sustain about a hundred times the diversity as other types of nursery trees. This is all due to the fact that the oak is the native tree of the land and has a built-in capacity for the surrounding ecosystems.
What's more, native gardens produce beautiful flowers, abundant fruits, and lovely, ever-changing seasonal displays of subtle and vibrant hues. They produce the age-old foods of a local area's wildlife. The nectar attracts pollinators, such as bats and hummingbirds.
Payoffs of Native Gardening
You can re-do your garden completely and go 100% native— or choose to implement a majority of native plants with a few accented implants. You could also gradually transform your garden by bringing a few native plants yearly into what you already have. This is called "conservation by addition."
Either way, native plants in a landscape or garden take about as much effort as establishing other plants you might buy from a market or nursery. Yet after their roots take hold, native plants can flourish with surprisingly little gardening work.
Indigenous plants have evolved to do well in the local weather and soil. This means they rarely need extra resources or sprinkler systems for support. Great news for water bills! No matter what size your garden project, your native garden can help save water and key resources.
Plus, oaks, maples, and other native trees to your region work efficiently to hold in carbon dioxide while replenishing precious oxygen. These trees continually add shade, beauty, and pure, refreshed air to your surroundings.
Ready to Give It a Go?
Visit natural areas around you. This will give you ideas about what will fit in well on your property. Use your zip code to find local plants that will delight your local birds and bees.
Contact other gardeners in your area for advice. Social media is another great source of tips.
Then enjoy learning, and celebrating the natural character of the land on which you live.