Recently Bill (and Marilyn a little) took a course at Texas’ official Botanical Garden, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center on Native Plants. This is an amazing center with lots to see, classes and amazing resources based on constant research.
We thought it would be fun to share some of what we learned. We learned it for Texas but the principles apply everywhere. Native plants have adapted to the ecological conditions of their region and therefore need less watering intervention. In Texas where droughts happen easily and where the summers are hot and dry this means that native plants are better able to survive both the heat and the drier soil conditions.
Where I am from in New Brunswick the opposite is more true - the native species are able to withstand cooler weather and a lot more rain and moisture.
Texas Rain Lily
The use of native plants means a reduced need for pesticides and poisons because the plants are also more adapted and able to resist attacks from local pests - both insect and disease.
Since the plants have adapted to local soil conditions they also need fewer soil amendments. Bluebonnets, for example, Texas’ state flower, grow better in poor soil conditions.
When you add up all of these differences you arrive at a smaller carbon footprint, also factoring in that using native plants usually means they have not had to travel as far to get to your local nursery, also a bonus!
Native plants provide the right food supply for beneficial insects, pollinators, butterflies and birds.
Antelope Horns Milkweed
It has been a learning curve for us to learn what just comes up of its own accord on our land. The pictures you see here in our blogpost are plants that are native and flowering now at The Cedars Ranch, and include these too ...
And some we haven’t figured out yet!
Have fun gardening in your neck of the woods, whatever that looks like!
Marilyn and Bill
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