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Gardening and landscaping with native plants

Have you ever heard of Wild Ones? No, it is not some motorcycle movie from the '50s or '60s starring James Dean or Peter Fonda. This Wild Ones is a group of people interested in gardening and landscaping with native plants.

The vision and values statement of Wild Ones says they “strive to become a widely recognized voice for native plants and the sustainable landscaping movement, promoting increased use of native plantings that create living landscapes through grassroots efforts by example, education, marketing, and personalized support.”

Our landscapes are changing, and that change generally involves the loss of native habitats such as our native prairie and woodlands.

As such, the abundance and distribution of the native plants and the myriad of animals that are dependent on native plants — pollinators, insects, birds, etc. — are increasingly being reduced and fragmented. Many beneficial insects, for example, are dependent on some variety of native plants for cover, larval food, and nectar and other foods for the adults.

Gardening and landscaping with native plants can provide aesthetically pleasing environments, provide plants for native pollinators, reduce our carbon footprint, help preserve native biodiversity, and produce more environmentally sound and sustainable landscapes.

They can help ensure the viability of the many of our native plant and animal species in both urban and rural environments. And our native plants will not become future nuisances or noxious weeds!

Most people look to domesticated plants for garden and landscaping use, but give some consideration to utilizing native plants. Even though you may not completely revamp your lawn and garden to natives, you may choose to incorporate some native plants in your design.

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Chuck Lura has a broad knowledge of "Natural North Dakota"and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Since 2005, Chuck has written a weekly column, “Naturalist at Large,” for the Lake Metigoshe Mirror, and his “The Naturalist” columns appear in several other weekly North Dakota newspapers.
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