“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
“A thing is right if it tends to preserve the beauty, integrity and stability of the biotic community; it is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ~Aldo Leopold, “The Land Ethic” A Sand County Almanac.
Native plants are a good choice for landscaping whether you have one-fourth acre in the city, four acres at the edge of town or 40 acres in the country. Increasing environmental awareness, a desire to connect with nature on a personal level and limited time to devote to home landscape and land management projects are reason to turn to natural landscapes for inspiration. A close look at the plants and patterns occurring in our awesome prairies, majestic forests, sun baked glades, shimmering savannas and shifting wetlands provide excellent landscape models.
There are many benefits associated with a well-planned, diverse native landscape. Unfortunately, we often simplify our natural environment by planting a limited number of plant species, and too often, selecting non-natives. A diverse landscape with many naturally occurring plant species supports abundant animal life, reduces maintenance and offers year ’round interest. Such plantings are also less vulnerable to destructive insects and diseases and seldom need additional inputs such as fertilizer or chemical pesticides.
A. Buffalo grass lawn
B. Grass and wildflower meadow
C. Foundation plantings using small, indigenous flowering shrubs and native perennials
D. Pond and bog for wetland plants
E. Woodland including nut trees
F. Hedgerow and thicket with native shrubs and small trees that produce barriers and provide cover