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Hi all!

I want to bring up the prospect of native gardening.

If you haven't read Nature's Best Hope, I recommend you do so. It's a great book that can be summed up in this quote:

...humans now occupy or have seriously altered nearly all of the spaces outside our parks and preserves. Each of us carries an inherent responsibility to preserve the quality of earth's ecosystems. When we leave the responsibility to a few experts (none of whom hold political office), the rest of us remain largely ignorant of earth stewardship and how to practice it. The conservation of Earth's resources, including its living biological systems, must become part of the everyday culture of us all, worldwide.

Native planting has become an obsession for me. I have a very small yard that I have spent the last two years (trying) to turn into a native prairie (local to my area).

I don't use herbicides or pesticides on my lawn. This year was the first year that wildflowers started to pop up along with all of the invasive. I've seen 10 monarchs already this year (after seeing none any previous years). My lawn is filled with birds eating the bugs in my poison-free yard. We've even had frogs and rabbits, something I've NEVER seen in my suburban neighborhood.

Every day during spring I rush outside. Unlike traditional gardens, native gardens change drastically every season as well as every year.

If you live somewhere like I do, the native plants and animals have lost almost every space that have left. My eco region is extremely small and narrow, and it's been almost completely replaced by urban sprawl.

Native plants host the very unique needs of the animals who depend on your ecoregion to survive. Whether that's birds or butterflies that are migrating and searching for food, reproducing, or trying to find shelter--all of that is largely dependent on giving them the native plants that they have evolved with over hundreds of years that have now been replaced.

It has been amazing learning about the natural history and plants and animals that make up my area. I have learned that there are less native prairies that there are rainforests, despite the ecological benefit being just as important.

The amount of life I have seen grown from what was once a half-dead lawn is amazing. I truly feel like I am making a difference. Yes it's small, but when you see all of the various forms of life that are making home in their natural space, it feels amazing.

Hi all! I want to bring up the prospect of native gardening. If you haven't read Nature's Best Hope, I recommend you do so. It's a great book that can be summed up in this quote: *...humans now occupy or have seriously altered nearly all of the spaces outside our parks and preserves. Each of us carries an inherent responsibility to preserve the quality of earth's ecosystems. When we leave the responsibility to a few experts (none of whom hold political office), the rest of us remain largely ignorant of earth stewardship and how to practice it. The conservation of Earth's resources, including its living biological systems, must become part of the everyday culture of us all, worldwide.* Native planting has become an obsession for me. I have a very small yard that I have spent the last two years (trying) to turn into a native prairie (local to my area). I don't use herbicides or pesticides on my lawn. This year was the first year that wildflowers started to pop up along with all of the invasive. I've seen 10 monarchs already this year (after seeing none any previous years). My lawn is filled with birds eating the bugs in my poison-free yard. We've even had frogs and rabbits, something I've NEVER seen in my suburban neighborhood. Every day during spring I rush outside. Unlike traditional gardens, native gardens change drastically every season as well as every year. If you live somewhere like I do, the native plants and animals have lost almost every space that have left. My eco region is extremely small and narrow, and it's been almost completely replaced by urban sprawl. Native plants host the very unique needs of the animals who depend on your ecoregion to survive. Whether that's birds or butterflies that are migrating and searching for food, reproducing, or trying to find shelter--all of that is largely dependent on giving them the native plants that they have evolved with over hundreds of years that have now been replaced. It has been amazing learning about the natural history and plants and animals that make up my area. I have learned that there are less native prairies that there are rainforests, despite the ecological benefit being just as important. The amount of life I have seen grown from what was once a half-dead lawn is amazing. I truly feel like I am making a difference. Yes it's small, but when you see all of the various forms of life that are making home in their natural space, it feels amazing.

26 comments

[–] ThisReality 4 points (+4|-0)

I love this. I've spent years focusing on what's native to my area and planting those things. They're easier to take care of, because they're used to the environment.

I've also learned to make friends with weeds and to watch every year to see what comes up. I do some weed control, but I try to let seasonal plants have their moment even if I didn't plant them. Also, the bees like them.

[–] [Deleted] 4 points (+4|-0) Edited

Same! I catalogued all my weeds before trying to coax more native plants. Almost all of them are edible or serve some sort of medicinal purpose. I'm now aggressively weeding but only because I have creeping charlie which is invasive in my area. I wish it wasn't because it's actually really pretty with it's small purple/pink flowers.

If you don't have the app already, inaturalist has been the single best thing I have to ID plants. Even if it can't pick up the ID with whatever witchy algorithms it has, someone else will ID the plant for you. So many crazy weeds I've been able to ID that way when revere images didn't work.

[–] ThisReality 4 points (+4|-0)

I love iNaturalist. They also have an app, Seek, that can identify a lot of plants and animals just by pointing your camera at it. The app doesn't always find a specific identity though, but iNaturalist participants almost always do. I'm a fan of both.

[–] girl_undone 0 points (+0|-0)

Creeping Charlie is sold here as an annual. Came to find out it's not an annual.

[–] [Deleted] 0 points (+0|-0)

Oh my goodness...

On that note, I've found wood sorrel, which is thought of as a weed, to be on sale in the last 2 years for $8 a pot as an "indoor plant". I've genuinely replanted them in tin cans, as well as some other weeds--and have seriously considered selling lol. Maybe I can do that with the Charlie I pull up.