Native Plant Landscape Plans

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If you’re trying to make your landscape more sustainable, one important thing to do is to reduce the size of your lawn and add more native plants, trees and shrubs.  There are many reasons why lawns harm our environment:

  • Non-native grasses make the typical lawn require vast amounts of water because of their shallow roots.  Water is a scarce resource in many regions and shouldn’t be wasted on maintaining green lawns.  Learn about suitable, drought-tolerant grasses for your region in my earlier post.
  • Pesticides, weed-killers and fertilizers applied to lawns pollute our waterways when rainfall (or lawn watering) carries these chemicals off onto our streets, where they travel via sewers, and end up in our creeks & rivers, causing an array of problems for aquatic plant & animal life.  Fertilized lawns need more water too.
  • Mowing, weed-whacking and leaf-blowing causes air and noise pollution.  If you have a relatively small lawn, try a reel mower which doesn’t require gasoline or electricity!
  • Biodiversity is hindered with a generic lawn, whereas planting a variety of suitable plants enriches the environment and provides food & habitat for beneficial insects, butterflies, birds, bees and other wildlife.

Replacing some or all of your lawn with native plants will enable your yard to by in sync with nature and requires minimal maintenance!

A great resource for free landscape planting plans for all kinds of gardens (dry, sunny sites; shady, moist sites, butterfly/hummingbird gardens) in Pennsylvania is iConservePA.  Their website displays helpful garden templates, showing types and arrangement of plants and is a wealth of information regarding green living.  For other states, try your local native plant society, or perhaps a google search for native plant templates.

Tag(s): The Great Green Outdoors

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