In addition to being beautiful, landscaping with native plants has a lot of other benefits for you and the environment.
Your landscaping choices can impact the birds, insects and wildlife native to the Walpole area. They are all interdependent, and when one part of the ecosystem is out of balance, the others are soon to follow. By choosing your plants carefully, you can provide the shelter, food and other support that birds and beneficial insects need.
Native plants are also typically easier to maintain. Because they have evolved to thrive in local conditions, they require less water and are less prone to infestation by pests. They are also acclimated to the environment so they can even help to conserve water.
Help Push Out Invasive Species
There are 66 invasive plant species in Massachusetts that have been banned for sale in the state. These plants decimate local plant species, spread aggressively, and can introduce diseases and destructive insects for which local species lack resistance.
Some of the most common invasive plants in our state include:
- Autumn Olive
- Black Locust
- Bush Honeysuckle
- Common Reed
- Common Buckthorn
- Common Barberry
- Japanese Barberry
- Japanese Knotweed
- Dame’s Rocket
- Yellow Iris
- Wild Chervil
If you think that you’ll limit your choices, or won’t be able to achieve the look that you want by choosing only local plants, think again. The variety of options, especially here in the North East, is mind boggling. If you start by evaluating the type of soil you’re working with, assess the need to remove alien species already present and then work with a professional landscape designer, we’re certain you’ll be satisfied with your results, and that you’ll end up with a sustainable garden that only gets more beautiful year after year.
Focus on biodiversity, beauty and plants that are loved by butterflies and birds, and you can’t go wrong.
Here are just a few of the options available to Massachusetts gardeners who want to create a native landscape.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa): As its name suggests, this flowering milkweed attracts migrating Monarchs and provides a habitat for caterpillars. Flowers are typically orange or yellow and bloom in mid summer.
Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum): This commonly found plant is called a weed because it is so common, not because it is an unwanted pest. Pollinating birds and insects love these plants and will flock to them. The Joe-Pye will begin blooming just as Butterfly Weed blooms begin to fade, making them perfect partners for the garden.
Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia): These make excellent spring ground cover with their white flowers and leaves tagged with bits of red.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis): Because they keep their green all summer long, we think no native garden is complete without Columbine. While you can find them in various colors, the natives are orange-red with a yellow center. Hummingbirds love them too!
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum penduatum): The black stems and stunning green foliage of these delicate ferns add a bit of bubbly texture to your shaded beds.
Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana): This hardy shrub thrives in dry areas, and its delicate pink flowers perk up rocky areas, giving your landscape a bit of a wild look.
Flowering Dogwood (Benthamidia florida): These lovely trees, and their white flowers, used to be ubiquitous throughout the North East, but have recently be decimated by disease. By including them in your native garden, and surrounding them with the habitat they need for beneficial species to thrive right along with them, you can build a beautiful landscape and help revive this native species.
There are Virtually No Limits
This is just a very small sampling of the types of flowering plants, trees and shrubs that you have to choose from. If you are moving into a new house and want to create a landscape that is truly yours, or if you want to revive your old, tired garden, give us a call. We’re not just your Walpole lawn care experts, we’re also your landscape design, building and maintenance team. We look forward to working with you.