A striking Azalea, the fragrant Lilac, or those Hydrangeas you keep trying to make more blue or more pink. In Landscaping, ornamentals can tend to take the forefront in many people’s minds, but PEI is home to many beautiful & useful native plant species as well. Incorporating some into your landscape design is not only of aesthetic benefit to you, but it supports our local Island ecology as well.
One of the major benefits to a home or business owner is the ease in which a native tree, shrub, flower or fern has in thriving in our environment. They often require less care or additives for their growth to be maintained simply because they have evolved to live here intentionally. This makes them an attractive staple to implement into your design. Think “plant it & forget it”. You won’t have to worry that it’s going to experience “Death by East Coast Winter”.
If part of enjoying your outdoor space also involves watching the birds & the butterflies, native species ticks those boxes more consistently as well. By planting local varieties of flora you help encourage our local fauna’s presence. Most people are aware of milkweed & the monarchs’ dependency on them, but many other species can struggle to find their preferred source of food in our changing landscape as well. By making the choice to plant local varieties you are helping to support the populations that rely on them & really bringing your outdoor space to life.
There is also the added perk of supporting local nurseries & garden centers that specialize in growing & helping preserve our native species. The ecological footprint on a plant that was grown & purchased right here on the East Coast is much lower than that of one imported from farther away. That goes for the ornamental as well!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful ornamental as much as the next Landscaper & have incorporated many into my own home’s design, as you should too! But there is no disputing the ecological gains we can all achieve if we make a conscious choice to have a few more local plants taking root in our gardens too. Be sure to let us know while discussing your design plans that incorporating local flowers, trees or shrubs is important to you.