Selecting Native Plants for Your Home Landscape

Using native plants in the home garden helps solve a host of gardening problems experienced by many homeowners. Are you looking to conserve water during the hot summer months when municipalities impose water restrictions? Wondering if your plants are drought tolerant enough to survive while you are away on holidays? Do you need perennials that are more resistant to insects and diseases? Then native plants are the ideal solution.

blechnum spicantGrowing native plants is an easy way to add colour, texture and form to your garden. Plants are well adapted to our growing conditions including soils, rainfall and drought periods. Plus, native plants are ideal for insect pollinators and our local wildlife.

Native plants can be found at all of the garden centres on the West Side of Vancouver. They will have plants that are well suited to a landscape environment. You can choose from shade plants for moist areas of the garden as well as plants that perform well in dry shade, for spots such as under mature cedar trees. Talk with your local garden shop owner or staff, they have amazing amounts of knowledge to share!

At Van Dusen Botanical Garden you can check out the native plants in a garden setting. Many have been planted all around the new visitor’s centre. There is a significant collection of natives as well in the Western North America section. Most plants are identified by their botanical name. In the case that it’s not – you can always chat with one of the gardeners there. They are encouraged to pass on horticultural knowledge to garden visitors.

Resources

The number of native plants available for landscaping is too great to list here, but I recommend having a look at the following resources for further information.  GreatPlantPicks.org has a list of native plants under the Plant Lists tab on their website. Great Plant Picks creates annual lists of great plants, curated by the best gardeners in the region. On the city’s website at Vancouver.ca, search for Waterwise Gardening Guidelines to download a PDF with loads of tips as well as an appendix containing a list of plants.  The UBC Botanical Garden website has a forum specific to plants of the pacific northwest, it’s a great place to ask questions and interact with other gardeners: botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums.

About Jessica Salvador

Jessica has spent over ten years in the landscaping industry in nursery production, landscape maintenance and garden centre sales. She graduated in 2002 from the highly recognized horticulture program at Capilano University as a Certified Landscape Horticulturist. Higher Ground Gardens, your West Side Vancouver gardening and landscaping professionals for hedge trimming, pruning, bark mulch delivery, yard clean up, and on going gardening and landscaping maintenance. Gardening Vancouver, The Garden Pro's to call from Spring through Fall.
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