"We need every single planting to perform better."
Claudia West made this statement in a very off-handed kind of way during a discussion on a different topic during last week's NDAL design symposium. As in, of course we all know this. She was talking about including a native plants in your landscape plan. Her words struck me as a very succinct way to say to those of you who do not eat, sleep, and breathe plants and design why it's so important to include natives in your landscape. A typical American landscape does very little to benefit the environment. Does that seem weird to you?
When thinking about our current climate crisis, it's so hard to know as a regular person what we can do to help. Should I put solar panels on my roof? Should I switch to an electric vehicle? Should I hire the teenager down the street to shovel my driveway instead of firing up the snow blower? (Yes). I think that including more native plants in your landscape and diminishing the size of your lawn are really accessible, doable things that every homeowner can accomplish while contributing in a positive way to our environment.
Now, I am not a native plants purist by any means. I don't think you should remove or replace your favorite plants (unless they're invasive!). If you love and enjoy something, by all means keep it. But most of us can do better than what is already in our landscapes. Doug Tallamy recommends that we cut the size of our lawns in half and aim for 70% of the biomass in our landscapes to be native.
Let me know how I can help. #wegotthis🌿