Incorporating Native plants into our home landscapes and caring for them is an ongoing learning process even for us. Laura and I trial different natives in our own test gardens to determine exactly which ones are suited to our Albany area climate, are truly deer resistant, and can coexist with other typical landscape plants.
We have been incorporating native plants in our designs for years. In the last few years we have installed large native only gardens and it has been an amazing learning experience. Native plant consulting and design is a discipline that is still evolving, especially here in the Albany, NY area.
Landscape design as a whole is undergoing a revolution and Laura and I would love to help you integrate these new principles into your outdoor spaces, large or small.
The core idea of these new concepts is designing plantings that look and function more like they do in the wild; more robust, more diverse, and more visually harmonious, with less maintenance. Interestingly enough many of the major designers in this movement are from Europe, where the countries had to rebuild a polluted and ravaged ecosystem. Now pioneering American designers have begun to use these principles daily.
Adding even a 4′ x 4′ area of the right plants to your existing landscape can draw in beneficial insects that will eat aphids, spider mites, and leafhoppers, reducing or eliminating insecticide use. Pollinating insects such as butterflies and native bees will also appear and put on a show for your enjoyment.
We are certainly not advocating that everyone remove their lawn and plant a meadow or prairie in their yard. Sometimes this is just not practical or possible. But we all need to stand up and do something to protect our ecosystems and planet. Most of our landscapes do not support the “Circle of Life” as illustrated by our friends at Prairie Moon Nursery. Watch the video below and think how we have treated insects in our landscapes as enemies; they are the crucial link in the cycle.
Selectively removing some non natives and adding the right native plants here and there can be done in any landscape. It will greatly increase the your contribution to keeping our fragile ecosystems viable!