Growing Native Plants to Inspire a New World

Ceanothus 'Bamico' and Iris 'Canyon Snow' are native California wildflowers that dot the landscape in blue and white
photo credit Katie Hetrick, CC by 2.0

Are you considering a native plants garden this year?

With changes in climate and water availability, it certainly makes sense to consider growing gardens that naturally thrive in your region.

But most of us aren’t “naturals” at understanding and identifying native and non-native species.

It takes some research.

Besides looking for the varieties native to your region, you also need to locate sources for those plants or seeds.

This, in fact, may be the harder part of the job.

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants

If you are lucky enough to live in California, the Theodore Payne Foundation not only provides guidance, but it sells plants.

The foundation is dedicated to the preservation of California native plants and hosts an annual garden tour of California’s best private native gardens.

Of course, this year has been an exception in so many ways.

California’s stay-at-home order meant that the tour could not proceed as planned.

But quickly the staff adapted and filmed a virtual tour of the scheduled private gardens.

The bonus for all of us? The recorded tours are available free of charge on YouTube.

Seeing gardens and hearing gardeners talk about the beauty and use of native plants is inspiring, even if you don’t live in California.

For the Rest of Us – PlantNative

After watching the tours and seeing just how beautiful native plants can be, I’m ready to plant my new garden.

But, I don’t know of a source in my area. So what should I do?

Google it, of course!

And there it is: PlantNative, a national database for native gardening.

http://www.plantnative.org/nd_netook.htm

Unfortunately, the site owner is looking for someone to take over the administration, so hop on this as soon as you can.

The site lists landscape designers, nurseries, and seed sellers around the country.

It includes lists of native plants by U.S. region.

And best of all, it guides you step-by-step so that you can get started on that native plants garden.

I’ve personally ordered from a source here in Ohio. Stayed tuned for how my experiment pans out.

I’m excited to create a beautiful garden that requires less intervention than the typical mixed border.

And this seems like the perfect time to think outside the box, doesn’t it?

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