Plants that belong in Washington ~ and your garden.
At Acorn Landscape we are part of the statewide movement to use native plants in home, neighborhood and community gardens. This movement aims to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, increase biodiversity and create more sustainable landscapes.. Not only do native plants soak up water and break up hard soil, they infiltrate water and nutrients deep into the soil to serve other trees and shrubs that may be growing near your garden. Choosing native plants allows developed landscapes to coexist with nature, instead of competing with it.
Here are more reasons to use native plants:
For Stormwater Management
Using moisture-loving plants in rain gardens and in bioretention and wetland detention basins slows down and absorbs rainwater, thus reducing the quantity and velocity of storm water runoff while improving water quality.
For Less Maintenance
Compared with lawns and mulched tree, shrub, and perennial plantings, landscapes planted with appropriate native plants require less maintenance. They require minimal watering (except during establishment and drought periods) and they need no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
To Create Wildlife Habitat
A native plant garden or large planting with a diversity of trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses provides food and shelter for insects, birds, amphibians, and mammals throughout the growing season. Leaving seed heads and plant structure throughout winter provides continuing food and shelter for many creatures and provides opportunities to observe nature up close. To underscore the importance of native plants to birds, virtually all terrestrial birds feed their young insects. Native plants provide food for insects, and insects provide food for birds. With no insects, we would have no birds.
For Resistance to Deer
Deer are adaptable and eat a wide variety of plants. Fortunately there are many native plants that deer avoid.
By planting a wide variety of native plants, you are likely to have some plants that are less appetizing to wandering herbivores. That way you can grow a beautiful, native landscape that can endure some browsing once established. You will be enjoying your landscape while the deer dine on your neighbors hostas. Some examples of plants that deer find unappetizing are, coastal strawberry, ferns, knick knick,red flowering currant and Oregon grape.A deer-resistant garden includes a percentage of these types of plants.
For a Sense of Place
People who have lived in one place for a time develop images of their home that create a sense of belonging and familiarity. For instance, longtime Washingtonians are familiar with Pacific Dogwood—its blossoms and berries have made their mark in the hearts and thoughts of so many local residents that its hard to find a neighborhood without at least one. The same is true of our many Rhododendron varieties. They are so popular that the Rhody is our state plant. Many people have recognized this heartfelt connection with nature, and it often is referred to as “sense of place.”
Native wildflowers, flowering vines, shrubs, and trees offer a wide range of colors, textures and forms to create dynamic seasonal displays. Grasses and sedges have interesting flowers and seed heads and yellow–orange fall color. Shrubs and trees have fall color and berries that persist into the winter. Choosing a wide assortment of plants ensures seasonal interest, with the bonus of attracting colorful birds, butterflies and insects.
Why do native plants reduce maintenance? Because they have these characteristics:
- Longevity: plants that live for many decades
- Three to four-season interest: plants that are appealing most of the year
- Variable conditions: plants that tolerate a wide range of light and moisture conditions
- Small and compact: plants that are in scale with a given space
- Weed elimination: plants that grow into dense groupings and eliminate weeds
- Seediness: plants that do not spread readily from seed