June 16, 2024

Plant native species!

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I recently went to an Audubon program on the “State of the Birds” and unfortunately the bottom line isn’t good. It has been scientifically shown that 30 MILLION birds have disappeared from the earth in only the past 10 years. Why? One of the biggest reasons is the loss of habitat and suitable food sources associated with habitat. What can we do to help? One simple solution is to grow native plant species. As defined by the U.S. Forest Service a native species is one that has “evolved and occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem and habitat”. Native plants will generally provide both food for insects and birds as well as homes for emerging insects. Whether we love them or hate them insects are vital for pollination and as a food source for birds.

Please consider planting native species. Sun loving natives include: butterfly week, cardinal flower, beebalm, liatris, coneflower, asters, goldenrod, iron week, joe pye weed, and milkweed. Some of those species will also grow in partial shade especially the asters. Full shade plants include columbine, hyssop and violets. Some of these beautiful flowers may already be included in your perennial gardens. An added bonus to planting natives is that they don’t need a lot of maintenance, most are perennial and come back yearly and they don’t need fertilizers or routine watering.
Many of these plants can be found at larger nurseries or online.

Please consider a native plant garden or even plant only one new flower in your yard. The birds, butterflies and bees will thank you.

Marjorie Bradley

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