Sustainable, Native, Pollinator
Imagine a garden that is not only beautiful and inviting, but is also a model of a sustainable eco-system. Native plants, ones that occur naturally in the local surroundings tend to be better adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, and therefore more resistant to diseases and pests than hybrid plants. They are better able to survive in drought conditions once established, and thrive in adverse growing conditions. Native plants invite wildlife like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and birds to visit. They don’t need to be manicured, they can be a bit wild, and they are low maintenance while still being pretty.
- Native gardening is a popular tend for home gardens. It is a shift in the way we think about our flower gardens
- Native gardens are a movement towards healing & restoring the land
- Native plants tend to be water wise, low maintenance, disease resistant, drought tolerant once established & they thrive in the right conditions
- Create a sustainable eco-system; above & below the soil
What are Native Plants?
- True native plants are those that grow naturally in our area. They are plants here prior to European settlers.
- Indigenous native plants include woody plants, perennials, & grasses. Native plant can be selected for all growing conditions including sun & shade, dry or moist conditions, & in any soil
What Will the Neighbours Say?
- A native garden can be as formal or informal as you choose to make it
- Some of my clients worry their native garden might get complaints from the neighbours for being ‘too wild’; it’s all about the layout of the plants
- Consider this as extra incentive to make your garden a place of show-stopping beauty!
Benefits | Environmental
- Low maintenance once established so it saves you time
- Leave your leaves. Recycle nutrients by soil composting below ground
- Reduced the need for chemicals & fertilizers because native plants are less prone to diseases & pests, and they don’t need to be feed each month
- Combat climate change. Be part of climate change by planting plants. Reduce carbon pollution by planting long living trees. Be part of the solution.
- Conserving Water. Native plants tend to thrive even in the heat and therefore, need less water than hybrid plants.
Benefits | Beauty in Your Garden
- Many native plants offer beautiful, showy flowers that produce an abundance of interesting, colour seed heads & fruits
- Brilliant seasonal colour changes from the pale greens in spring to vibrant yellows, oranges and reds in the fall
- Creates an amazing winterscapes with interesting stems and branches
- Native plants create movement and sound in the garden
- Create a natural background as a wonderful sitting place to watch and enjoy wildlife!
- Just as important to gardeners are the practical and aesthetic benefits of native plant gardening: less work and lots of beauty! You’ll quickly discover that native plant gardens almost look after themselves–after all, that’s what happens in nature, and native gardens are based on natural principles.
Benefits | Wildlife
Imagine a songbird, flying northwards after a long migratory journey, looking for nourishment & finding… acres & acres of manicured lawn or a toad, looking for a pond in which to breed and finding…a sea of asphalt….
- Native plants provide habitat for a wide variety of creatures such as birds, butterflies & bees, whereas, hybrid plants tend to be designed to attract people
- Provide a home for many native plants that are becoming increasingly rare in the wild
- Create a sustainable habitat. Oak Trees 500 species of caterpillars for birds
- Butterflies & moths depend on specific plant for food that you can provide in your native garden
- Provide shelter for flying friends
Near North Garden Plant Material List
Cephalanthus occidentalis, BUTTONBUSH
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’, RED TWIG DOGWOOD
Diervilla lonicera, LOW BUSH HONEYSUCKLE
Rubus odoratus, FLOWERING RASPBERRY
Symphoricarpos albus, SNOWBERRY
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, BEARBERRY
Rosa blanda, SMOOTH WILD ROSE
Andropogon gerardii, BIG BLUESTEM
Andropogon scoparius, LITTLE BLUESTEM
Bouteloua gracilis, BLUE GRAMA
Chasmanthium latifolium, NORTHERN SEA OATS
Koeleria cristata, JUNE GRASS
Sorghastrum nutans, INDIAN GRASS
Achillea millefolium, COMMON YARROW
Agastache scrophulariifolia, PURPLE GIANT HYSSOP
Aquilegia canadensis, COLUMBINE
Aruncus dioicus, GOATSBEARD
Asclepias syriaca, SWAMP MILKWEED
Asclepias tuberosa, BUTTERFLY WEED
Campanula rotundifolia, HAREBELL
Chelone glabra, WHITE TURTLEHEAD
Coreopsis lanceolata, LANCE-LEAFED CORESPSIS
Dalea purpurea, PURPLE CLOVER
Desmodium canadense, SHOWY TICK TREFOIL
Echinacea pallida, PALE PURPLE CONE FLOWER
Epilobium angustifolium, FIREWEED
Eupatorium maculatum, SPOTTED JOE PYE WEED
Geranium maculatum, WILD GERANIUM
Helianthus maximillaini, MAXIMILLAIN’S SUNFLOWER
Heliopsis helianthoides, FALSE SUNFLOWER
Iris versicolor, BLUE FLAG IRIS
Liatris ligulistylus, MEADOW BLAZINGSTAR
Monarda didyma, WILD BEEBALM
Monarda fistulosa, WILD BERGAMOT 6″ pot
Oenothera biennis, Native Yellow EVENING PRIMROSE
Rudbeckia hirta, CONEFLOWER
Rudbeckia triloba, BRANCHED CONEFLOWER
Silphium perfoliatum, CUP PLANT
I hope you will take time to journey through the new gardens at the Near North Enviro-Education Centre this summer, and in those to follow as they mature and change personality. I encourage home gardeners to come and steal ideas to create your own eco-friendly gardens. Happy Gardening.