Why does everybody and everything love native plants and trees? Let us count the ways!
🍂 1. We love native plants and trees because we depend on them to feed and house the many insects that pollinate fruits and vegetables we must have to survive.
🌻 2. We love them because native plants and trees are meant to live here. That means natives are easy to take care of. They make our gardens and grounds beautiful and ask little of us in the way of fertilizer or water or pesticides.
🦋 3. Insect pollinators love native plants and trees because their leaves are vital to feed many of their young. Insect caterpillars are picky eaters and will eat leaves from only one species of plant. Like the baby in the highchair who turns his head away whenever you offer spinach, monarch caterpillars, for example, are the same way if you offer them anything to eat other than milkweed.
🐝 4. Adult insects love native plants and trees because natives provide nectar and pollen for them to eat. Non-natives or cultivars of natives often have been bred for the nursery trade. In the process, their life-giving nectar has been bred out of them in favor of more beauty, color or fragrance.
🍁 5. Insects love native plants and trees because they provide their wintering grounds. Some insects lay their eggs in the leaf litter, or under tree bark. Others overwinter underground or in dried hollow stems. Manicured lawns and gardens don’t give insects many places to live.
🐞 6. Birds, reptiles, and mammals love native plants too because they provide habitat and food. Trees and shrubs hold nests and animals find nesting holes in some trees. The insects they attract and the berries and nuts they produce provide essential food for most animals.
🌳 7. The Earth loves native plants and trees because they slow flooding by helping to take up excess water from the land. Their roots filter and clean run-off. Trees fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and returning oxygen to the Earth.
NEXT – Call the City of VB and ask them to “red tag” your property
When requested, the city will “red tag” a property by placing a piece of reflective red tape on it, similar to the material in a stop sign, that tells a driver to turn off the spray nozzles. The driver will keep the spray off until they’re a few houses away from the tagged property. To request a red tag, please call the Mosquito Control Bureau at 385-1470.
Invasives are plants that don’t belong here and worse, they actually do harm to the landscape. They are plants, like English Ivy, Japanese Honeysuckle and Chinese privet, that do well in our climate and grow quickly. They bully their way across the land, climbing and spreading, killing our native plants shrubs and trees, as they go. Invasives have no natural enemies because our native insects and other critters won’t eat non-natives. Many invasives were originally brought into the area by the nursery trade precisely because they do grow so well here and no one understood the harm they could cause.
Terri Gorman – “Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana is a woody, deciduous, perennial shrub that produces clusters of small flowers blooms on the stems during the late spring and early summer and the most stunning purple fruits in the fall from August through October. “
SUSTAINABLE YARDS PROGRAM: Let us help you “green” your Lynnhaven watershed home. This unique program provides specific stormwater management practices to your yard at a significantly reduced cost to you.