Native Gardening and Biodiversity

Biodiversity is not just reserved for national/state parks. Home gardens can enhance the much needed biodiversity in the cities and suburbs. Native plants are indigenous to a given area – developed or occurred naturally in the area and existed along with other life forms in the environment. Starting from European Settlers to every other country in the world has brought different species of plants that are now commonly referred as “exotics” or “ornamentals”. Some of these species may become invasive damaging the local habitat. These plants also do not support the local wildlife from bees, butterflies, caterpillars, to animals high up in food chain. Hence it could possibly undermine biodiversity. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA states that about 106 are extinct and marked 228 as endangered plants in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Home gardens that have manicured lawns and colorful ornamental shrubs and flowers may look lush and inviting, but they are do not have nutrition for insects and birds. Environmental studies have shown the positive impact of native plants on the biodiversity in suburban landscapes. Advantages of going native gardening is that since they evolved here, it is easy to take care of them once they are established. They easily adopt to local soil, requires less or no fertilizers, less watering, and help with pollination services.

Take charge and plant native. There are several resources to know more. First find the list of plants native to your region and then look out for nurseries that sell nursery propagated native plants. Do not collect the plants from wild as you would disrupt a very delicate ecosystem. We don’t have a big yard but wanted to do our part and got our plants from The Schuylkill Center last Saturday. Here are my favorites:

New York Ironweed

New England Aster

Poppy Mallows

Black-Eyed Susan

Poppy Mallow

Poppy Mallow

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan

New England Aster

New England Aster

New York Ironweed

New York Ironweed

Looking forward for colorful summer and fall this year!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: