North Coast Chapter - CNPS

Native Plant Gardening Notes

by Pete Haggard

"Native Americans remind us that we must not relegate nature completely to the margins of civilization—otherwise we will not learn how to use and coexist with nature."

This quote comes from an excellent article by M. Kat Anderson & David L. Rowney in the January 1998 issue of Fremontia. As garden chair I should be encouraging everyone to give serious thought to planting their entire garden in native plants. However most of us, even those avid native plant gardeners among us, would balk at that suggestion because nearly all of us who garden already have favorite ornamental plants, fruit trees, or vegetables which give us great pleasure in growing and which we would be very reluctant to replace.Yet most of us would probably be willing to incorporate natives in our existing landscape when we feel there is a need or there is a loss of an existing plant. So next time you need to fill a spot in your landscape with a tree, think about a native tree such as Hooker’s willow, Salix hookeriana or beach pine, Pinus contorta. For a flowering shrub, how about western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale or flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum? And if you are looking for an herbaceous perennial, think western columbine, Aquilegia formosa or bleeding heart, Dicentra formosa. These are just a few examples of the multitude of native plants you might consider. Use our chapter’s plant list* for a more thorough guide to selecting plants. And remember, native plants can be cheaply purchased from your local chapter**.

"By restoring the plants native to one’s surroundings, the plants in turn attract a host of native wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and beetles. We truly begin to live with nature, side by side"—Ken Druse and Margaret Roach, The Natural Habitat Garden (1994).

Finally, if you are interested in a native plant garden walk this year contact me with requests and suggestions.

* Pick up the lastest NCNPG, at the next general meeting or contact me by phone or e-mail, it only costs’ .50 cents per copy.

** See John McRae for details on purchasing plants.

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California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067
Last updated March 1998