In the spirit of Earth Day: The benefits of using native plants in the small garden

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 | One Comment

Earth Day’s coming up, so what better time to discuss eco-friendly planting techniques and garden accents!? We’ll talk about using native plants today, and showcase some sustainable and green garden products on Thursday.

Rockefeller-garden-native-plants
Photo via gardenclubbackbay.org

Native plants are plants that have lived in your location and climate for centuries. There are tons of benefits to using them in your small garden, such as:

  • They save water
  • They don’t require pesticides
  • They attract birds, butterflies and other beneficials
  • They help save the world! Well, that may be pushing it…
Photo Via latimes.com

Not quite convinced? Let’s explore these benefits a bit more:

  • They save water - Because natives are adapted to the local climate, they need less watering to remain healthy. We’re talking most natives here — this doesn’t include plants like ferns, which are meant to live by a stream.
  • They don’t require pesticides - Because they are used to the local conditions — such as the soil and climate — they are less susceptible to disease and vermin. So you don’t need to ply these plants with additional nutrients in order to keep them healthy. They have all they need in the ground they’re in, which means less work for you!
  • They attract birds, butterflies and other beneficials  – Native plants and local wildlife are the dream team! Because they’ve been around the area for so long, native plants often provide shelter and food for local wildlife. In return, the wildlife drops the plants’ seeds to help with pollination. All this excitement from local critters makes for a great garden experience.
Photo via http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net

All this may sound great so far, but like many clients I’ve talked to, you might be worried that “native” is a code word for “ugly.”

Well not to fear! There’s quite a bit of flexibility with native plants. You can use them in a similar way as you might see them in their natural environment, or you can incorporate them into any style of garden — ranging from modern, to formal, to cottage.

Check out the photos below as proof:

Photo via California Native Plant Society in Orange County

Ready to get started with your own native garden? We’ll be introducing native garden plans to Habitat Design soon, so stay tuned!

Photo via http://greenterrafirma.com
Photo via http://grownatives.cnps.org

Jessy-Berg-Habitat-Design This article was written by Jessy Berg, professional landscape designer & co-founder of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Jessy believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >


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1 Comment

  1. In the spirit of Earth Day: Bonnie’s green accents for the garden « Blog « Habitat Design
    April 18, 2012

    [...] you love gardening with native plants and using sustainable planting methods — why not complement your garden with eco-friendly accents while you’re at [...]

    Reply

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