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Go Wild with Native Gardening

“Plant This Instead of That

news fall 2015 7

Shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) (left) are a stunning native alternative to European lily of the valley
(Convallaria majalis) (right), which can be aggressive in a garden bed, forming large, dense colonies of clonal plants

The Nature Conservancy has launched a wonderful web feature called “Plant This Instead of That: Alternatives to Garden Bullies”.  The feature provides well-mannered native alternatives to aggressive plants and shrubs for use in yards and gardens.  For example, plants like burning bush, wintercreeper and periwinkle can pose a threat to nearby forests and other natural areas when they escape cultivation.  Using less aggressive, native plants can protect natural areas while adding beauty to yards and gardens.  Plants that are native to an area also require less watering and don’t need fertilizers or pesticides to survive.  Birds use native plants for food, such as seeds, berries and shelter, and native plants also attract many insects, another important food source for birds.  There are many great reasons to visit the website so encourage your friends and neighbors to use this great resource!

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