Many homeowners want a luxurious landscape, but don’t put a lot of thought into the big picture. It’s important that you give consideration not just to what look and feel you are going for with your landscape design and gardens, but also to how your choices will impact the biodiversity of your area. Today, we take a look at some of the reasons why you should use native plants in your landscape.
Put simply, a native plant is one that occurs naturally in a region and was not introduced from another region or country. The Maryland state flower, the Black-Eyed Susan, is a classic example of a native plant.
Benefits of Native Plants
Besides providing beauty and color in multiple seasons, using native plants in your landscape comes with several benefits, including:
- They can withstand the extremes of heat and cold in your area, as well as drought and rainfall, within certain limits.
- They have good longevity – better than many nonnatives.
- Pollinators like bees and butterflies benefit when you use native plants, as do birds and other wildlife.
- They help you use less fertilizer and pesticides.
Maryland Native Plants
There are a wide variety of Maryland native plants that you can incorporate into your landscape design. You may need to work with a local plant nursery or a local garden center that specializes in native plants. You want to avoid invasive plants and plants that break the food chain.
The University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center has a wealth of information, including photos, on Maryland native plants. These include:
- Ground Covers
- Ornamental and Native Grasses
They even break it down for you regarding which species are best suited for sun, shade, and slopes. And if you’re looking for deer-resistant plants, they have information on those, too. Make note of which plant material appeals to you, and keep track of both the common name and the botanical name.
You Can Use Other Plants, Too
We love native plants, and the many benefits they bring to the ecosystem. But there are all kinds of other plants, trees, and shrubs not native to Maryland that do well here, and look beautiful. You can have a mix of all three to achieve the landscape of your dreams.
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
If you want to make the most of the garden space you have, it may be a good idea to contact a landscape design company for help. Creating a new flower garden, a terraced garden, or garden room takes a lot of planning and know-how. Your landscape design should also include hardscape elements like pathways, retaining walls, and more. Professional design and installation will give you the outdoor living space of your dreams.