There are many good reasons for growing native plants in our gardens not least of which is that they need less care than plants that are not naturally adapted to the local conditions. It goes without saying that the native plants you can grow will depend on your location and so will vary across the country. This article by Lynne Cherot which I found on her Sensible Gardening website describes several of her favorite native plants.
The trend in gardening is to use more native material ,which I?m all for. When you use native plants in your garden you have?plant material that can?survive without your intervention. Much less work for the gardener and definitely good for water conservation. This all goes back to ?rightplant-right place? gardening philosophy.?It?s not always possible to use the native plants within your garden as depending where you live many of them are a bit too rough around the edges or invasive.?Sometimes a native shrub or tree just needs a little make over to fit into your yard, such as a good hair cut. Pruning can go a long way to alter the appearance of an otherwise scraggly specimen. It can take a few years to get just what you want but in the end it is well worth it.
Saskatoon Berry (Serviceberry / Amelanchier alnifolia)?
Considered to be a shrub or small tree reaching around 15 feet tall at maturity. In spring it is covered in showy white flowers in clusters on the branch tips, each with 5 petals. It produces a black, seedy fruit in the fall which the birds love. The berries are edible and tasty however in our arid climate by the time they are ripe they are very dried out and we don?t bother with them. We?ve tried but you have to use too much sugar for our taste.
The more natural growth of the Saskatoon Berry is upright but gets quite thick and tangled. The picture below shows?one that I have kept pruned. It was growing in this location all by itself which I thought was perfect. Over the years I have been pruning to keep it?s shape and size appropriate for our garden.
Every area will have its own choices of native plants to use, but here are some of ours that we enjoy incorporating into our garden:
Mariposa Lily is lovely. They pop up here and there, they are the boss. A delicate native bulb that is hard to beat.
Balsam Root literally covers our hillsides for about 2 weeks in early spring.
See more at Sensible Gardening