There are several advantages to planting native plants in your garden.
- Native plants feed and nourish the local wildlife.
- Native plants are better adapted to weather conditions than exotics in most cases.
- Native plants are also more drought tolerant which is good for gardeners in regions where water can be scarce.
- Native plants provide nesting locations and shelter for many forms of wildlife.
So there you have a small comparison of native vs. exotic plants. It's a subject that can go into much greater detail but that covers it in a nutshell. Now it's time for the fun stuff - the plants! Below are five neat native plants that are either in or around my garden areas.
Five Neat Natives!
- red coral honeysuckle several times before so I won't go into great detail here but it's another great hummingbird magnet! It doesn't have as strong of a scent as the Japanese honeysuckle but it makes up for it with it's amazing flowers.
- Packera aurea) given to me by Gail at Clay and Limestone. It's done beautifully here nestled underneath a crape myrtle (exotic) and beside my side garden arbor. The crape myrtle is bare when the ragwort blooms then shields it from the sun during the summer. The ragwort has spread by its seeds very well but not overwhelmingly. It would be easy to cultivate quite a few of these spring bloomers into a mass of yellow.
- I like this next native a lot but it can have some health issues: the dogwood! This picture was from my mother's garden but we do have several dogwoods in and around our own gardens (they don't look as pretty though!) Dogwoods feed the birds in the fall with their bright red berries. Unfortunately they can suffer from powdery mildew and anthracnose. Newer cultivars are more resistant but are usually made from a hybrid of Cornus florida (native) and Cornus kousa (exotic).
There you have 5 neat native plants! What natives are your favorites in the garden?