I recently read a conference seminar list and found a topic that perplexed me: Is Ecosystem Gardening A Thing Of The Past?
On my way to work on a woodland garden that I had designed and was now planting out I heard rapper, Royce da 5'9 on CBC's q, talk about learning how to work with the system. Working with a now positive focus versus his previous negative one. His comments prompted me to think about my 'holy grail' of gardening: ecosystem gardening. It is easier, it works and works efficiently and is resilient.
I rely on native plants in my gardens for a lot or reasons:
1. Native plants support the soil's ecosystem (the soil foodweb)
2. Native plants create true pollinator gardens - Food and Habitat!
3. Native plants are frost hardy. Common dips in night time temps don't hurt these babies!
4. Native plants are different. Maybe they'll be the new cool garden, the hip garden. I think they are so much more interesting than hydrangeas and hostas!
5. There are native plants for full sun to part shade to full shade.
6. Native plant gardens are low, low maintenance. Less watering!
7. A native plant may become 'bossy' but never invasive and therefore harmful to the environment.
8. Native plants require no synthetic fertilizers, just the right kind of soil.
I could add more to the list but there's a good start for you to at the very least consider the place of a native in your landscape.
Take time to plan your landscape. Email Mary Living Outside with your ideas. Consult a reliable source in your area. Always research your plants well first.
Move over ornamental plants! Make room for native plants and watch your landscape come alive!