Native PlantsJuly 15, 2009
Today’s randomly selected tip from 1001 little ways to save the planet is 449 Go Native.
Plant local plants in your garden rather than ones from a different climate. Native species are well adjusted to local weather conditions and need less water and maintenance than species introduced from elsewhere. Local wildlife will also be better suited to these.
A few years ago a nursery opened for business nearby that specialized in native plants . I purchased from them each spring for the past few years until this year when they went out of business. This is also the year when I finally faced the fact that my garden was crazy tall! Why did I end up with all these tall plants? Asters, Flea Bane, Echinacea, Daylilies, Phlox, Sun Flowers and more. Then it hit me, I live in an area that used to be prairie. Prairie grass is tall. Flowers that are going to get any light need to grow tall – thus my native plants were tall. Ironically, while my garden is tall, I am not – coming in just a hair over 5’.
The overgrown height finally got to me and last month I thinned my flower beds considerably, and bought plants in the 1’ – 3’ range for in front of my 4’ – 7’ beauties such as Oriental Poppies, Hostas, Lady’s Mantle, more Lilies, Perennial Geranium, and other plants that looked cool and could handle my neglect. I can’t guarantee that the new plants are all indigenous species, but I can guarantee that if they survive it is not because they were pampered.
Any flower that lives in my garden is definitely adapted to the local soil and rainfall because neither are amended by me. I do not fertilize (the flowers – the vegetable garden gets the llama manure), I do not water. Heck, I don’t even deadhead unless I happen to be in the mood. Despite this I have a tall garden. Perhaps I’ll end up with the tallest Hostas in the Midwest.