Cultivation

Why Garden with Native Plants?

Natural ecosystems provide innumerable benefits.  Some of the more obvious are:

  • Food & Renewable non-food product
  • Pollination
  • Habitat Functions
 
  • Erosion & Sediment Control
  • Hazard mitigation
  •  Air & Water cleansing
  • Waste Decomposition & Treatment
  • Cultural benefits
  •  Local Climate Regulation
  • Water Supply & Regulation
  • Human Health & Well-being
  •  Global Climate Regulation

By using native plants in our landscaping, we can apply some of the natural benefits of ecosystems to our own gardens, at home, at work, in parks, schools, shopping malls, and entire subdivisions.  True native plant gardens could be termed "100 mile gardens" since they are composed of native species that naturally occur locally

Native plants are often defined as species that were found in an area before settlement by Europeans.  Indigenous peoples, however, played a role in moving plants around the continent long before the arrival of Europeans.  Another aspect that should be included therefore is how well a species is integrated into the local ecosystem.  Most native insects, for example, are only able to feed on native plants.  More recent arrivals, like butterfly bush, may be able to provide some nectar, but do little to aid in other stages of a butterflies life-cycle.  

The benefits of using local species aren't confined to their utility within the ecosystem. 

  • because they originate here & are perennial, transportation emissions are virtually eliminated
  • because they are evolved for local conditions there is no need for chemicals or municipally-treated water
  • no water treatment + no pumping = reduced power use
  • no chemicals = no manufacturing, no transportation, no disposal = reduced power use & reduced emissions

Finally, beyond the purpose of doing good for the planet...people plant native species for the same reason that most people garden.  Native plants are beautiful and can provide a range of challenges similar to those enjoyed by "traditional" gardeners.  In addition to choosing plants for their bloom period and colour profiles, however, native plant gardeners also choose plants based on their environmental benefits...providing food, shelter, soil remediation, and a host of other rewards.

Whatever your reasons, we thank you for your interest in native flora and hope that you'll find the information in this website useful.