There are many factors to consider when planning the landscape of your new construction home. Ideally, dream home builders should consider their landscape and garden designs in tandem with their home plans. In addition to aesthetic appeal, style, maintenance, function and longevity, it is important to consider the benefits of incorporating native plants, trees, shrubs and flowers into the landscape.Home Maintenance Tips
Here are six reasons why native plants and trees prevail over non-indigenous varieties.
Naturally complementary – Incorporating native plants and trees optimizes curb appeal because they not only look beautiful, but will actually survive. For example, bougainvilleas are beautiful because they offer a vibrant pop of color within most landscapes—but they will not survive the Michigan outdoors. Black-eyed Susans, Hardy Geraniums and Sedum are better options for Southeast Michigan landscapes.
Attraction matters – Landscapes comprised of native plants attract a variety of insects that are beneficial to the local environment. Birds, butterflies and other creatures create an aesthetic appeal and level of interest. Native plants and the insects that inhabit them help counteract the dramatic loss of habitat which is a common consequence of rapid development.
Tree preservation – If your lot contains existing mature trees and hedges, try to retain them because they add a lot of character and in some cases, privacy. Saving existing trees also helps to offset landscaping costs as tree removal can be exorbitant for large trees and new trees can be quite expensive depending on the size and type.
Indigenous is ideal – Growing plants and trees that are not indigenous can be frustrating because they require more maintenance to survive. Worse yet, this labor of love may prove futile, so it is best to choose indigenous options. Caring for native plants is much easier because they have evolved to thrive in the environment so it is unnecessary to invest a lot of time to keep them alive.
Viable varieties – There are plenty of options for every environment whether sunny and dry or shady and soggy. Native plants and flowers are available in a wide variety of colors, heights, foliage and lifecycles to ensure beautiful blooms as often as possible. Most importantly, by opting for native varieties instead of non-indigenous species, you avoid potential negative impacts to the overall landscape. Non-indigenous varieties can be invasive in that their constant search for water can squeeze the life out of other plants, shrubs and flowers. Rest assured that native varieties will not take over your yard.
Eco-friendly – Landscapes containing native varieties are environmentally friendly because of the reduction in storm-water runoff and erosion. The deep roots of native plants and trees provide tunnels for water to seep into the ground thereby enriching the soil so that the overall quality of the environment is improved. Better yet, native plants and trees help to reduce air and noise pollution in high traffic areas; water pollution caused by fertilizers and pesticides; and the loss of natural areas due to invasions of non-indigenous species that have fled surrounding areas.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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