Native plant gardens have been trending the last few years. More and more homeowners are letting their yard, or part of their yard, go native. There are many pros and cons to the native plant garden – it’s good for local wildlife and the ecosystem, but some neighbors and home owner’s association don’t like or allow them. Still the trend is popular because homeowners want to provide an environment that encourages natural wildlife for species that are struggling – bees and butterflies especially. Many do so because they don’t want to pollute their yard with week killers and other danger chemicals.
Pros of Native Plant Gardens
Encourages wildlife – More and more varieties of bees are going extinct, native gardens are an attempt to slow down that process and increase the species size. Many butterfly and moth species also benefit from native plants for their migration.
Repels Mosquitos – Many plants repel mosquitos including lemon balm, citronella, catnip, marigolds, lavender and Snowbrush. They may not all be native to your area but there are many. One is bound to be native. Click here for the complete list of plants that repel mosquitos.
Low Maintenance – A native garden doesn’t require much maintenance at all. You don’t have to mow, you don’t have to weed. Basically, you just let nature do what it does best.
Low Cost – If you choose to plant natives in your garden you’ll find that they tend to be hardier and less expensive. They reseed so once you’ve planted them the first time you don’t need to do anymore unless you want to add more variety.
Water Conservation – You don’t need to water a native garden. If done right the plants will store the rain for when it’s needed. Again, all you need to do is let Mother Nature do her thing.
Cons of Native Plant Gardens
Neighbors – Your neighbors might not like your choice to let your yard go. Native gardens can look unkempt and sloppy. If the plants overtake the sidewalk it can be a cause for friction. Keep sidewalks free from plants and bushes.
Attract Pests – While the idea of a native garden is to provide refuge to local wildlife, it can also provide refuge to pests such as voles, mice, rats and even bats. One might argue they are necessary to the ecosystem, but your neighbors may not appreciate bats in the attic or voles in her garden.
Difficult to Find – Some native plants might be difficult to find at your local garden store, they may be more expensive when you do find them.
Native gardens can be great for the environment, and they are easy to maintain and help local wildlife, just be sure your HOA allows it before you let your grass go to seed and let the Creeping Charlie creep.