Landscapes that incorporate native plantings promote a thriving local ecology.
Planting landscapes with native plants not only enhances and beatifies our parks but acts as an educational tool for visitors. These plants have been uniquely designed (a century long of evolving) for our gardens and encourage local habitat, such as friendly birds, fluttering butterflies, and beneficial insects. Pollinators attracted to them in the surrounding area can help produce a more abundant fruit tree and vegetable harvest. These landscapes link us to our wild native landscapes and help bridge the gap that development has created over time. The way in which we have maintained many of our public landscapes has had detrimental effects on local and distant environments. Contaminated runoff into our streams and oceans from pesticide and fertilizer use and overuse of finite resources such as water have major implications on our present lives and the ones of future generations.
When using the greatest adapted native plant community for an area (coastal sage scrub and bluff, chaparral, southern oak woodland, etc.), the maintenance, including watering, pruning and fertilizing is drastically reduced. In addition, designs which use plants with differing bloom cycles create a colorful and unique aesthetic look year-round. There is no guessing game about how to treat these plants. Give them what they have been designed to thrive on; native soil without additional fertilizers, minimal supplemental water after establishment, plenty of elbow room to grow, and once a year pruning. Even many varieties of native plants have been developed to be more tolerant of ‘garden settings’, where they may get maintained improperly. Enhancing the beauty of our public spaces, reducing detrimental environmental effects and saving money means native plants should be grown in every public and private space!