Saturday, July 1, 2017

All-American landscape filled with natives

What could be more patriotic than a native landscape that supports Mother Nature??

Belfast castle garden is an example of a non-native and
unsustainable landscape. This is NOT authentic to America.
For far too long, the standard landscaping in our country has ignored the plants that belong here. Maybe it's a throwback to the European upper class castles where impossibly maintained formal gardens and the most exotic plants showed how much wealth they had. This landscape style is not only difficult to maintain, it's also not authentic to America.

It's time for a more patriotic approach...

The All-American Landscape
filled with regionally authentic plants 



Why is this patriotic?
The simple answer is that we need many different plants to provide habitat for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. More to the point, diversity is important for the health of the region's overall ecology. Far too many of our wild areas have been destroyed to make room for that most damaging crop springing up with increasing frequency: McMansions and their vast lawns. 

This is a huge issue, so what difference can gardeners make? Little by little, one-by-one, we have the power to effect dramatic results. We can enhance the diversity in our own neighborhoods by:

- selecting a wide variety of native plants for our landscaping needs, and demand native species when we deal with nurseries.
- choosing plants suitable for the various microclimates on our properties so we use fewer resources, especially water, to maintain them.
- creating wild or near wild spaces on our properties and keep your cats and dogs out of this space. (Pets are subsidized predators that significantly alter the balance in the ecosystem.)
- encouraging your neighbors to do the same.

So let's get started!

Some posts for further reference:

Getting started with native plants in Florida
Florida Natives for your landscape
What?? Native plants not pretty enough...

Some patriotic natives from our yard...

Florida scrub scullcap (Scutellaria arenicola) Loblolly Bay (Gordonia lasianthus) blossoms
 rival magnolias for showiness
Pink! can be a patriotic color when it's the Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) blossoms.

Native milkweeds support monarch butterflies and many other pollinators.
This one is the pinewoods milkweed (Alsclepias humistrat
Rain lily (Zephyrantes atamosca) Indian blanket (Gaillardia puchella)

Tropical sage (Salvia coccinea) supports not only insect pollinators, but also hummingbirds. Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)

Creating a better world is NOT for nothing; it's for our grandchildren. Green is the new red, white & blue.
So celebrate the 4th of July, but after the long weekend, continue your patriotism with more natives in your landscape and soon your landscape will be a patriotic, All-American landscape that supports the All-American wildlife native to your area.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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