Thursday, March 25, 2010

Incorporating native plants into your garden

The best thing about bringing native plants into your yard is what they bring in turn: birds and beneficial insects and easy to maintain, simple beauty. Most of us aren't creating an entire
native garden in our yard (if you are good for you) but we can incorporate them into our existing yard. For the most part you aren't going to go wrong with natives, but make sure you are aware of a few things before you go running to the nursery. That's right. Buy them at the nursery. Don't go digging up native columbine along the side of the road unless you want to get dirty looks from native Oregonians.

Get educated on how large your plants can grow and how wide they can get without pruning. A lot of natives like salal and others can grow into a thicket and while the birds might appreciate it your neighbors might not.

Practice delayed gratification. I would suggest picking a native that works best in your yard rather than selecting one that you have focused on for some insane reason. Use the right plant, right place mentality rather than "I have to have this plant and I have to have it now!"

Plant natives so that they make sense. You may not want to plant a native next to your formal hybrid tea garden surrounded by squared off boxwoods. Most natives have a less formal look and some are just downright rangy. I would recommended planting them near informal perennials and large rambling plants like roses and honeysuckle, or on their own in a neglected corner that you can now call your native garden!

Check out the link below and get a better idea of what it means to go native:

The Backyard Revolution - National Wildlife Federation

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