As I’m sitting outside in the sweltering heat today (a whopping 102 degrees Fahrenheit), I am thinking of those plants in my garden that seem to thrive in this heat and not require as much water! What an asset to my landscape and great for me as a gardener because these plants require much less water, which results in a lower water bill.
I’m a Utahnite…Did you know that Utah is the second driest state in the nation with an average annual rainfall of just over 15 inches? Wow! So you can understand the importance of planting more drought-tolerant, water-wise plants in my neck of the woods–and even more specifically–planting “native” plants.
What do I mean by “native”? Native plants are ones that have been growing in a region for a very long time and have historically been proven to adapt to local conditions; thus requiring less water, less maintenance, and being more resistant to area pests and disease–making them the perfect choice for a “green” landscape.
If you want to get started on using native plants to your region, I found this great website at PlantNative.org. The website hosts a “Native Plants Nursery Finder” which lists, by state, the nurseries that specialize in native plants sales. It also has a “Regional Plant List Finder”–just plug in the state you are interested in and a whole slew of native plants, trees, and shrubs pop up that are relevant to that area.
When I plugged in my own state of Utah, I was excited to see that I actually have several plants that are already growing in my garden that are native to our area (i.e., Prairie Aster, Silvery Lupine, Sunflower, and Penstemon)
As you look around your own existing landscape, I bet you will be surprised to find you already have a few native plants growing there. I guess the idea is not to stop there, but to build on this beauty and get back to your garden’s roots.