How to get the most from a native landscape!
Here in Colorado we love the outdoors. We love enjoying nature and we want to care for it and protect it. If this is you, why not try native landscaping? Bring the Colorado wilderness home and create a getaway right out your back door. And with Colorado's has a water problem and we can all do our parts to help. A native landscape does two things by giving us that outdoor experience when busy city life keeps us from getting to the mountains but it also helps reduce water use by using plants that are adapted to our climate and conditions. We really just want to encourage everyone to give it a thought by giving you a list of ways you can get the most from a native landscape.
1. It Sure Is Pretty
We all know how beautiful Colorado and its natural environments are. By using proper planting design techniques and plant selection, along with the use of other design elements, native landscapes can become a beautiful and inspiring backyard oasis. Its not all just plants, but bringing in all the natural elements into a seamless holistic design that will make it perfect.
2. Wildlife Loves It
Native landscapes bring in the birds and bees! And plenty of other wildlife. By planting for pollinators we get tons of delicious fruit. A wildlife centered landscape brings in more bugs (not the bad kind), bugs bring in more fruit, more fruit means more birds and squirrels, more bugs mean more bats (which are so much fun to sit in your yard and watch the sky for their acrobatics). If you enjoy wildlife and the abundance that wildlife helps to create as part of a functioning ecosystem consider planting more native habitat plants.
3. You Can Eat It
Strawberries, raspberries, elderberries, currants, thimbleberries, wild mint, and pine nuts are just a few of the delicacies that could await you in your native garden. Have a handful of currants on your way to the office in the morning or throw some mint in those Summer weekend mojitos! As an added bonus you will see these plants in the wild and know their secrets after getting to know them in your own yard. Wild fruits are so delicious and plentiful...and expensive unless your grow them at home!
4. Its Eco-Friendly
We already discussed bringing wildlife into the landscape by creating habitat and that's not the only way native landscapes are eco-friendly. Native landscapes are low-water landscapes because these plants are already adapted for this climate. Coupled with a drip-irrigation system for super efficient water use native landscapes are super water conscious. The are also lower maintenance which means no gas in your lawnmower, no oil spills, no pollution from all that lawn care. Native plants are also better adapted to pests and diseases so no more poison and need less fertilization (compost only!) so no more fertilizer running into our waterways. Its a great way to go for the eco-conscious.
5. It Supports Local Growers
They don't ship native Colorado plants from California or Florida so you have to buy them from local growers! This supports our local economy and by supporting our native plant growers we encourage the growing of a wider variety of native plant species, the expanding of non-native growers into the industry, and growth in the native plant industry overall.
6. It's Educational
We get to learn about our ecosystem by planting native plants and we get to teach our neighbors about it too! By going native we get to set an example and become an ambassador to our friends and neighborhoods for native landscaping and its many benefits. Its also a lot of fun to know about the plants, what they like, their relationships to the greater system, and how they can provide us with food and medicine. Its fun to know the environment we live in! A mentor of mine once told me, "You don't see a plant in nature, truly see it, unless you know its name. Then its everywhere." This has always held true. Put plant name tags to label your plants so you won't ever miss truly seeing it again.