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Dreaming of a Native Garden

I don’t have a a traditional lawn as my front yard. Nor in my back yard. Both areas are gardens.

I tore out the grass in my front lawn 7 years ago and planted perennials, grasses, bulbs, and annuals. Then I started on my back yard.

Over the years since then, both the front yard and the back yard have gone through several iterations due to catastrophic events (such as blizzards, droughts, burst pipes). As I lost plants due to one event or another, I’d re-start, filling in the holes in the landscape with new plants.

So my gardens have evolved. I did not have a plan for them. I selected what to plant based on what I liked (“oh that looks pretty!” or “how interesting!”) or whether that type of plant had survived in the garden so far.

I had heard the words “native” and “invasive” but honestly I had no idea what they meant or why I should care.

So now I know. And I now have a vision for my gardens. One that attracts insects, butterflies, and birds. One that is home to native plants that will filter pollution before entering Chesapeake Bay. One that has mini-habitat areas for critters.

In the meantime, though, I will enjoy what is thriving in my garden. Such as the fall foliage on my totally non-native Japanese maple tree.

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