Bringing Nature to your yard

March 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Have you often wondered if it were possible to bring the wildlife to your yards and gardens?  Well it is possible to attract squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks in to your yard by using the native plants that are found in the forests and fields they reside in.

You are probably wondering what the difference is between a native plant and a naturalized plant.  Native plants are plants that have grown in the wild for centuries prior to European settlement.  The sugar maple is an example of a native plant as it has existed in Ontario for many centuries.  Naturalized plants are those plants that have been introduced from other countries and have adapted to the environmental conditions of Ontario.  An example of a naturalized plant is the Norway maple which was introduced from Europe to Ontario (Evergreen, 2010).  This species has very little wildlife value but it is widely used as a common landscape plant.  It has become so troublesome it is now considered an invasive species because it out-competes native plants.

When choosing native plants you have to consider where it grows in the wild in terms of soil, moisture, sunlight, and wind conditions.   A location in the yard which experiences similar conditions should be selected for the plant.

Native plants should be obtained from native plant nurseries throughout Ontario some examples are Acorus Restoration and Pterophylla.  Make sure the staff are knowledgeable and are able to steer you towards plants that are native to your region (ie Southern Ontario vs Northern Ontario).  Ensure that any plants purchased are grown in the nursery and not picked from the wild. Obtaining native plants in such a manner can damage wild populations that are already under a lot of environmental stress.

There are numerous benefits to including native plants into the garden, and one being that they require less maintenance than non-native plants (in terms of irrigation and fertilization).  In addition, native plants are less likely to be harmed by disease and pests because they have evolved defences against the local insect populations (Canadian Wildlife Federation, 2010).  This characteristic provides an additional benefit to your garden, as this natural resistance to pests will allow you to cut back on your use of chemical pesticides.  The most important benefit of native plants is that they provide shelter and food sources to local wildlife.   Please check out the references below for further information on native plants and native plant gardening.

A. Mohamed

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Drought Tolerant, Eco Friendly, Gardens, Native Plants, Naturalized Plants, Water Efficiency. Tags: , .

Earth Hour is approaching Butterfly Gardens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers


%d bloggers like this: