What is it?
Native landscaping refers to gardening with plants native to your area and climatic conditions. Native plants are those that evolved and originated in your area, not exotic and imported plants from other parts of the world. Native plants inlcude trees, shrubs, grasses, ground covers and some food plants. Choosing native plants adapted to the climate and soil in your area means that the plants will require less care
How does it work?
Native plants, like all types of vegetation, slow and prevent negative impacts of stormwater runoff by intercepting rain, assimilating toxins in the soil and absorbing the rainfall. Choosing appropriate native plants has the added benefit of supporting natural ecosystems, and requiring less water and care. Planting natively isn't much different than planting with traditional species and can be much less labour intensive.
What are the Benefits?
- Native landscaping reduces runoff because plants absorb and infiltrate stormwater flows.
- Plants can be selected to match natural precipitation frequencies and levels, as well as soil type in your area.
- Landscaping with plants suited to your property reduces the need to use fertilizer or pesticides and to water. They also don't require grooming or excessive watering.
- Naturalized properties provide food and habitat for local wildlife.
A few Tips...
- Try combining your native landscape with a rain garden for enhanced stormwater management on your property.
Native landscaping varies in cost, depending on size of garden, plant selection and whether professionals are hired to install gardens.
- Well-designed native gardens require less maintenance and tending than non-native gardens due to better pest and drought resistance.
- Basic garden maintenance is needed, especially in the first few years to ensure strong and vigorous growth, and to eliminate weeds.
- Check regularly for invasive species of plants that may take over the garden. Visit the Invasive Plants of Natural Habitats in Canada online guide for a listing of what is considered an invasive species..