Our yards and gardens give us an opportunity to interact with nature – giving back to the Earth with care and consideration, while beautifying our personal spaces. We love being in harmony with the birds and wildlife around us, gasping excitedly when a hummingbird flits past, or watching a butterfly lazily meander through our flowers until it lands on its choice pick. If only there were a way to increase our leisure time, contribute to our planet, and see more natural wildlife in our own backyards.
Actually, there is a way to do all of that – with less effort than it usually takes to maintain a typical landscape. How? By adding native plants to the mix.
Incorporating native plant species in our home gardens and landscapes allows us to enjoy beautiful floral designs with minimal maintenance, and to do it in a green, eco-friendly way. It also supports local and regional biodiversity and an environment for native insects, which in turn provides a food source for birds and other wildlife. Advice
The native plant experts at American Beauties have created four “themed” gardens: The Bird Garden, Butterfly, Dry/Shade and Moist/Sun that help you select the right plants for the right spot.
With great plans that inspire and a list of natives that grow best in your area, it’s easy to select among the array of shrubs, trees, vines, grasses and perennials that match your garden conditions and personal style.
A portion of each sale of American Beauties Native Plants is donated to the NWF to help fund natural habitat work and outreach programs.
Whether you’re looking for perennials with beautiful blooms or graceful ornamental grasses for balance and design, or plants with four seasons of color, there are native plants available from coast-to-coast that fit the bill and are low maintenance.
Looking for color even in late fall? For northeast gardeners, check out Hamamelis ‘Harvest Moon’ that blooms in November. Love softer pastels in your garden? The stunning pink swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, has rosy pink, sweet-scented flowers that draw both butterflies and hummingbirds.
The beautiful Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) with its lovely orange flower clusters and copious nectar attracts Monarch butterflies, looks great in borders and is deer-proof, too!
For a plant that really pops with color, plant Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle) that’s also a hummingbird magnet. The tube-shaped deep red flowers with yellow throats are stunners, and in late summer, bright red fruit appears. Birds will enjoy the banquet of berries in the fall.
If you love ornamental grasses for their sweeping, graceful form, try ‘Prairie Blues’ that’s a drought tolerant grass with a wide range and unforgettable steel blue color.
As nature’s curators, help your garden and Mother Nature by selecting natives that attract bees, birds, butterflies and bugs that are the pollinators for our ecosystem. You’re guaranteed to have a yard filled with year-long color and attract the wildlife you enjoy and the beneficial bugs your garden needs.
Since natives have long-ago adapted to your soil and climate and thrive with less water, fertilizer and pest control, they can solve landscape problems that many non-natives can’t. Plus, they provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for critters and pollinators that help maintain balance in our eco-system.
Dr. Doug Tallamy, chairman and professor of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, and author of “Bringing Nature Home,” emphasizes that “native plants are needed for insects and animals to flourish.”
Besides pollinating plants, and serving as food for other critters, beneficial insects help control harmful insect populations that can ruin plants and crops. Just one single ladybug is capable of consuming up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime!