Recently, I attended a Gardeners of Wake County meeting where Laurie Lawson from Niche Gardens discussed North Carolina native plants. BTW–Rockstar Tony Avent and Plant Delights were mentioned several times in the talk.  He is, of course, a huge advocate of native plants and testing different growing environments to find the range of conditions these plants can survive and thrive.

As you can imagine, native plants are the best plants to grow in your garden, because they are proven to survive in the same environment.  So NC native plants are perfectly suited for our soil and weather.  Common sense would suggest that you would have better luck with Black-eyed Susan in your NC garden versus an English Cottage Garden plant like Lupine.

Lawson shared a little history about native plants and why nurseries started propagating and selling them.  Apparently, there are plant poachers, or  even innocent plant lovers that in the past used to remove native plants throughout the wild to bring them to their gardens.  You can imagine the impact to the ecosystem if everyone dug up a plant from the wild.  It would decimate the wild population.  So apparently back in the 1970’s nurseries started finding ways to take native plants, propagate and sell them commercially, to prevent people from taking native plants from the wild.

Since then, science has advanced and there are lots of cultivars and varieties that have been created, tested and introduced into commercial plant production. Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill specializes in native plants and has worked hand and hand with NC Botanical Garden to offer stable, beautiful native plant varieties.

You should grow native plants.

Here are the Top 3 Native Plants Lawson Recommends:

Black-eyed Susan

Stokes Aster

Butterfly Weed

She also showcased a variety of Enchancea, Baptisma, and Heuchura. I will blog in detail about these in future posts.

So native plants rock!  As you plan your spring planting, consider adding them to your landscape.

Happy Gardening.