Going Native

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)


(c) photo by Tina Phillips

There are other drought tolerant plants that do well in our area as well, although not necessarily native to this area, but they seem to thrive well in our desert-like conditions (i.e., Coreopsis, Salvia, Russian Sage, Coneflower, Liatris (Gay Feather), and Shasta Daisy to name a few).

Shasta Daisy:

(c) GardenStems.com

Coneflower (Echinaccea):

(c) GardenStems.com

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.

About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. Meredith says:

    For those of us in dry states, we really understand the need for native plants, just because we need them to be super drought-hardy. But for the sake of the pollinators and other wildlife, and to avoid the spread of invasives, every state and region should be heavily focusing on natives. That doesn't mean we can't play some with our garden choices, just that we need to be very plant-wise! Nice post!

  2. Autumn Belle says:

    You have a lovely blog with love pictures. The sunflower is so big and beautiful! I'm trying to sunflower from seeds. I just started yesterday evening but it is going to be dwarf sunflowers. A sunflower like yours will brighten up any garden.

  3. Beth at Aunties says:

    These are great and such helpful posts! The pictures are fabulous. Our poor yard is suffering this year.

    Going by Mount Nebo Saturday made me wonder just where that gorgeous lavendar farm was… Someday lets do get together with friends and and maybe you can share that secret…

  4. Rosey Pollen says:

    Thanks for stopppin' by my blog today. I grew up in Utah, so I know dry! I am finding that Natvive plants in my garden are turning into the mainstay. I have some exceptions, but I just have to experiment!
    Shastas are great!

  5. Rosey Pollen says:

    Thanks for stopppin' by my blog today. I grew up in Utah, so I know dry! I am finding that Natvive plants in my garden are turning into the mainstay. I have some exceptions, but I just have to experiment!
    Shastas are great!

  6. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    I completely agree with using native plants. I was surprised to find what were native plants here in Washington. They just grow so much easier, and so many are very pretty.
    I had no idea Utah was so dry.

  7. Kim and Victoria says:

    Daisy, your photos are stunning! Love the lavender pics.

    And native plants are such a great idea. Most of our front garden is planted with xeriscape plants and we only water once a month or so during the summer.

  8. Miss Daisy,
    I am in awe over your slide show!! Your garden is fantastic. So many beautiful flowers and lots of diversity. I love it. Cheers!

  9. Ellie Mae's Cottage says:

    Hi Miss Daisy! I came across your blog through the Gardener in Progress blog. So glad I stopped by. Your blog is lovely! I had no idea it was so dry in Utah… I mean I knew it was dry but not the 2nd driest. I love using native plants. They always do so well without the struggle of a lot of upkeep. -Jackie

  10. jennifer says:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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