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How Native Plants Benefit You

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Gregg's Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii) attracts visiting monarchs well.

Texas' annual Native Plant Week celebration is next week, and fall is the ideal time to add native plants to your landscape. As temperatures cool and rainfall increases with the season, transplant shock is reduced, meaning better establishment before next summer's heat sets in. Whether adding a tree, some perennials, a patch of grouncover, or wildflowers, you'll find that native species offer solutions for every garden space–another reason we at NHG offer a wide selection of them throughout the year.

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Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis) with its berries and flowers.

In areas where turfgrass struggles, native groundcovers come to the rescue. Plants like pigeonberry and frogfruit aren't just good lawn substitutes, they offer many benefits to wildlife such as flowers for pollinators and fruit for birds. They're more tolerant of shade, require less irrigation, and some native plant species are also larval host plants (LHPs) for native butterfly species, adding even more benefit to your landscape.

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Native aster (Aster oblongifolius) blooms in fall.

Native asters combine beauty and pollinator attraction, and are spectacular in fall, when they burst into an avalanche of blooms. Salvia, skullcap and verbena are among our favorites, but when it comes to native perennials, we're fortunate to have numerous choices for both sun and shade.

Pink-skullcap

Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.) is drought tolerant.

Need more room in your garden for plants? When in doubt, go up….adding a native vine to a trellis, arbor, pergola, or archway can bring a new dimension to your plantings and vertical accents create interest and help define garden and patio spaces.

Ornamental grasses are in vogue and make wonderful landscape accents with varying forms and textures. Additionally, they offer cover for birds and other wildlife and seed heads for food. 

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Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is beautiful when backlit by early  morning sun

Planting natives can have a great impact on our bird populations. Large areas in our cities with foreign plants can reduce viable habitat, diminishing food supplies for animals like insects — the foundation of a bird's diet. With their link in the food chain secure, other plants and insects grow and flourish in cooperation with our songbirds.

Perhaps the best reason of all to plant natives is that your maintenance investment is reduced. With plants better adapted to the soil you already have, there's less need to amend it, as well as fewer insect and disease problems. And with water restrictions on everyone's mind, there's no denying that any plant requiring less irrigation deserves consideration in landscape planning. 

Mexfeathgrass

Mexican feather grass, Nassella tenuissima, has a beautiful silky texture

Check our events calendar for classes and demos that will help you discover the benefits of using Texas natives plants in your garden. This weekend, join Randy Johnson, Horticulture Director of the Dallas Zoo, for a free class on the features of native plants in stock now on Saturday, October 18th, at 12:30pm. Join us at North Haven Gardens and grow native!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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