Native Garden Ideas

Native gardening has a lot of advantages from both a practical and an environmental perspective. Practically speaking, native plants are easier to grow and require less water than most non-native plants since they are adapted to the local environment. Environmentally, native gardens help to preserve native flora and provide a home for the fauna that is threatened by invasive species and urban sprawl.

Specimen Garden

If you are a serious gardener with an academic bent, turn your native garden into an exhibition. Plant native species in separate spaces or small groupings along with labels about each. Organize them by needs, with shade-loving plants together for example. Alternately, group them by habitat, placing native grassland plants together, native woodland plants together and native swamp plants together. Use edging to prevent your plants from spreading, keeping your native plant exhibits small and orderly. Landscape a path through your garden, turning your native plantings into a self-guided tour.

Native Garden Landscaping

"Native" usually refers to a whole region, and a region may contain several different biomes such as wetlands, temperate forests and riverbank or riparian. Landscape your native garden to simulate the different conditions found in your area. Plant riverbank plants along a small waterfall or stream installation. Have that stream drain to a pond, where you can plant native wetland fauna. Add landscape rocks, sand and gravel to another area of your yard to simulate alpine conditions. Finally, grow native ferns and other forest floor plants underneath native trees to simulate the regional forest understory.

Native Fruit Garden

Most commercial fruit trees are high-maintenance plants which require pruning, insecticides, fertilization and plenty of other care to thrive. Native fruit plants, by contrast, are low-maintenance because they are adapted to their local garden. Add some unusual flavor to your table with a native fruit garden. If you live in the central eastern United States, grow pawpaw to enjoy an unusual fruit with a flavor between banana and custard. If you life in the pacific Northwest, remove invasive blackberry bushes from your garden and grow native trailing blackberry vines instead.

Keywords: native garden ideas, native garden plants, native plants

About this Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has nearly five years' experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.