Hybrid plants are the result of the merger of two different types of varieties of the same plant. For example, the Early Girl tomato is a hybrid variety that produces disease-resistant tomatoes early in the summer. Non-hybrid plants are old-fashioned varieties that are open pollinated, meaning the birds and the bees are responsible for any crossing of varieties that humans often undertake to produce desired characteristics. All native plants are non-hybrids.
Plants that grow in the forests and meadows of your region are good choices for home gardens. From wildflowers such as penstemon to native trees, these plants are well adapted to the climate where they exist. Native plants are easy to grow because they belong to the same ecosystem as your garden. They require little supplemental irrigation, fertilizer or pruning--nature takes care of them so you can sit back and relax.
Many varieties of heirloom (non-hybrid) vegetables have fallen out of favor with seed companies and commercial growers in the past 100 years because of the desire for uniform size and color, ease of shipping, long shelf life and other factors, which do not normally include taste. If you want to experience the taste of the tomatoes your grandparents might have grown, shop for heirloom varieties. Some heirloom tomatoes include Black Krim, Stupice and Brandywine. You can grow purple green beans and peppers, yellow carrots and many other unusual vegetables when you select heirloom varieties.
Fruit trees are often hybridized to produce good-looking fruit that keeps and stores well. However, if you want an old-timey taste experience, try heirloom varieties of fruit trees, such as the Blenheim apricot, Babcock peach, Blue Damson plum and Arkansas black apple.
Native and wild grasses offer good non-hybrid alternatives to the standard lawn favored by most homeowners. Seeds Trust encourages growing native grasses because, "Wild, sod-forming grasses are increasingly valuable as low-maintenance, drought tolerant substitutes for the traditional lawn. They offer the option of remaining unmowed to create natural looking 'meadow' transitions between manicured lawns and untouched surroundings." Nurseries are beginning to carry more native species, so home gardeners have more choices than in the past. Many Internet sources exist for seeds and starter plants of non-hybrid plant varieties (Resources).