Magazine article Sunset

Landscaping with Natives

Magazine article Sunset

Landscaping with Natives

Article excerpt

Many natives make fine garden plants. Here are some of the showiest to plant this fall

Golden poppies and pink Mexican evening primroses have one thing in common: they grow wild in the West. In mistshrouded forests, meadows, or parched deserts or on eha ,parral-covered hillsides or beach fringes, such natives thrive without a gardener's getle hand to help them along. Because they have evolved to cope with often hostile climates and soils, they're capable of withstanding almost anything (droughts, for example) that nature throws at them.

The qualities that make them tough survivors in the wild also make them some of the best plants for Western gardens. By choosing plants that are at home in your region. you can succeed without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, or heavy irrigation.

How do you use native plants to best advantage? Take your design cues from nature. The conditions that embrace these plants in the wild-whether gritty, sunbaked soil or the moist shade of a coastal forest floorare the ones you'll want to provide in your garden.

By landscaping with natives, you may end up attracting more birds and butterflies to your garden. The colorful, tubular flowers of many penstemons are favored by hummingbirds, for example. …

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