Saturday, June 22, 2013

Natives vs Aliens

There are countless benefits to growing native plant species in your garden. Not only do they provide wildlife with an oasis from which they’re supplied with the food and shelter they need to thrive, but they are more cost and time effective and promote a healthy balance in the realm of biodiversity. “Native species” are generally described as such if they lived here prior to European settlement. Today, approximately 25% of flowering plants in North America are non-natives. We do think of many alien species as favorable, as they supply us with food and provide all kinds of resources to society. It’s only when a species is “out of place” that there is cause for concern. Invasive alien plants pose a threat to our rich biodiversity.

A natural lack of competitors can allow alien plants to displace native plants, therefore creating imbalance in the ecosystem as a whole. Native plants on the other hand, will maintain or improve soil fertility, reduce erosion and require much less fertilizer and chemicals to thrive than do their alien counterparts.

Designing with natives allows for the manifestation of distinctive natural landscapes like woodlands, meadows and wetlands with character unique to your region. They attract a greater variety of pollinators and support your particular plant and animal kingdoms in a healthy and structurally sound way that does not disrupt the “web” of life. When you plant native species, EVERYONE WINS!!

Another important aspect of the “native spiel” is to buy local. When you buy your material locally, there is no danger of giving foreign pests and diseases a free ride into your community. When plants are grown locally, they tend to be stronger, healthier and more suited to thrive in your climate. Insects that decimate our fragile biodiversity are typically transported here by humans! There are SO many more reasons to buy local, we can’t even get into them all…  Here at the nursery, we offer natives galore! Come see our enormous selection and do your part for biodiversity!!!

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