Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sustainable Living...Stay Green!



What can we do to help our Earth stay green and not compromise the needs of future generations? 
Go native!  Planting native and adapted plants for your area has many benefits.   First of all, I have found that the term native is such a simple word yet quite hard to define.  There are so many interpretations and specifics which vary.  However, what I do know is that they are proven successful for our region and thrive in our environment with little or no intervention from us. 

So, how do these native and adapted plants help us keep our world green?  For one, once established they are mostly drought tolerant and can beat the heat in Texas.  Our water supply is precious and we need to conserve what we have available.  Second, these plants provide a natural habitat and an ideal place to have a balanced ecosystem.  These plants will attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife.  Next, the less stress your garden is under the less you will need to control pests.  Natives are less susceptible to pest and disease.  All around, they are just easier to maintain in your landscape.  In addition, they are less likely to become invasive.  They will save you money and time. 

You can pick up a copy of Native and Adapted Landscape Plants at your local nursery.  It is an earthwise guide for Central Texas gardening.  It is an excellent guide for photos and information on plants that love this area.  For additional earthwise landscaping information and plant database, visit  Grow Green


A landscape that has native and adapted plants can be beautiful.  They can be as structured and neat and tidy as you want your garden to be designed.  I believe the best way to have a successful garden is to plant the plants that love our area and conditions.  However, I will not deprive myself of a plant just because it is not native or adapted.  If I like a plant, I will give it a try.  However, I do know that planting native and adapted gives me a better chance to have a thriving garden that is balanced.

There are many ways to help our Earth stay green and I have touched on a couple.  Planting native and adapted plants is an easy way to not only have a beautiful garden but also conserve our natural resources and protect us and the world in which we live. 

Here are some plants that love Texas...



Thank you Jan from Thanks for Today for starting Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project in recognition of Earth Day which is April 22nd! 

15 comments:

tina said...

Such good advice. I am finally trying to switch more to native and adapted plants in my garden. Maybe a bit late but at least I'm trying. Makes sense.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Amy, I love your suggestions to go native...and your Texas garden is beautifully packed with natives! I have a few of those in my VA garden, as well. This is a lovely, informative post and full of great ideas, including the reference to the garden book you included! Thank you so much for your participation! My earlier 'link' comment can be dismissed because I was in such a hurry jumping around on my blog, on Blotanical, on your blog, my email, that I didn't even notice it! Thanks;-)

Noelle said...

I love, love this post! I grow many of the same plants because of their beauty and drought tolerance - Blackfoot Daisy, Salvias, Hesperaloe, Leucophyllums. Why go with a non-native plant when you can plant these...Great post!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Amy, You are making such a valuable and important point here which, of course as you are aware, can, and perhaps should, be applied globally. You touch on the valuable resource of water over the conservation of which we must all take a responsibility.

Here in the UK Beth Chatto, a celebrated gardener, has done a huge amount to promote awareness of drought tolerant plants which is particularly apposite in East Anglia, where she gardens, and where there is often less rainfall.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

This is such a good discussion that Jan has started! Your contribution is spot on too. We were talking about natives here today while working on a project, but our big problem is that not everyone yet recognizes the beauty of natives. I keep writing about them here in Nova Scotia, and passionate gardeners like you do as well in other parts of the world, and eventually others will get the message. Nice post, Amy.

Carol said...

Amy this is a great addition to the Earth Day posts! It makes perfect sense for the environment to encourage natives and so many are beautiful as well. Well Done!!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You have a great choice of plants that love where you live. I agree with trying to plant more of what likes the area we live in. I've really been trying to follow that more in my yard. Great post!

Red Studio said...

Thank you for the excellent post and photos. I use a lot of these in plants in California. It makes sense to choose plants that are water thrifty and attract wildlife.

gippslandgardener said...

Thanks for a great post Amy! I think your ideas here can certainly be applied globally. I have been guilty of not having a lot of natives in my garden, but that is in the process of changing. My love of our local butterflies has got me researching and introducing native plants to attract them!

Amy said...

Tina, Jan, Noelle, Edith, Jodi, Carol, Catherine, Red Studio and gippslandgardener ~ Thanks for the nice comments. It is definitely a global issue that people need to be educated about. We are preaching to the choir...:)
I agree that a garden filled with native/adapted plants can be beautiful and help our Earth stay green. Thank you all for commenting. I enjoy reading what you have to say...:)

Kathleen said...

Terrific post Amy. For a long time I was one of those gardeners who thought "native" was not that exciting. I am coming around to the idea now tho so better late than never. I will always have a few non-natives too tho ~ I just can't give them all up!
I love how you did your slide show with the photos starting in a heart shape and moving out to form a rectangle! That's neat.

Amy said...

Kathleen ~ Thanks, when I see how well the native/adapted plants do in my garden, I am encouraged and like them even more. Thanks for dropping by...:)

Wendy said...

Amy, your slideshow shows that native can be interesting and beautiful too!

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Lucy
http://dataentryjob-s.com

Barbara said...

Going native is a great suggestion. As you say, the definition of "native" is sometimes difficult. If a plant has been growing in a given area for a hundred years but was originally imported, is it now native? I'm thinking for example of potatoes - a staple in all of Europe but originally from North America. Still, it's worth thinking about and your points are all valid. Happy Earth Day!
BTW the post from "Lucy" is spam - I've gotten it a few times, too.

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