6 Proven Reasons to Have a Native Garden cover

6 Proven Reasons to Have a Native Garden

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A native garden drastically reduces your water use, waste production and maintenance hours. It improves biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health.
It may seem that an abundant and biodiverse native garden is a lot of hard work and requires a high amount of investment to create and maintain. The reality is happily different.


Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars on 8 reviews

"Interesting article with good arguement for conserving water. I envy the many native plants that are on the west coast but here in central florida our native plants are not as showy. I use natives whenever i can and enjoy the individual beauty of each." 3 stars by




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6 Proven Reasons to Have a Native Garden

Lots Of Benefits

A native garden drastically reduces your water use, waste production and maintenance hours. It improves biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health.

It may seem that an abundant and biodiverse native garden is a lot of hard work and requires a high amount of investment to create and maintain. The reality is different. A native garden is inexpensive to establish and it mostly cares for itself. It is sustainable and provides immense long-term benefits and adaptability to living in Southern California.

Thriving Native Garden

Thriving Native Garden

© Scott Sporleder

What We've Learned

From our own experience and observations at The Ecology Center and a recent study done by the City of Santa Monica, CA, comparing a sustainable garden to a traditional one of the same size for a period of 10 years, we have discovered:

1. On average a native garden uses 85% less water per year. In Southern California, a 2000 sqft traditional landscape uses 57,000 gallons per year compared to a sustainable landscape’s use of 6000 gallons per year. Drip irrigation is inexpensive to install and maintain compared with sprinklers. Native plants produce their own shade and mulch, helping prolonged moisture retention in the soil also.

What We've Learned (Cont.)

2. A native garden produces 60% less green waste per year. Integrated in a mulch and compost cycle, the native garden would not produce any green waste.

3. A native garden requires 70% less maintenance per year. On average, a 2000 sqft traditional landscape requires 80+ hours of maintenance per year, compared to less than 15 hours needed for a sustainable landscape. More hours can be dedicated to admiring and harvesting the human and environmental healing powers of the native garden.

More Time For This!

More Time For This!

©iStock

What We've Learned (Cont.)

4. A native garden provides habitat for biodiverse local wildlife, including edible gardens pollinators. Besides a blooming palette of vibrant colors and pleasant aromas for gardens, native plants provide living and interaction space for a myriad of beneficial insects, many on lists of endangered species. 30% to 40% of the food we consume would not be produced without pollinator help.

5. A native garden enhances local ecosystem services. It produces clean air, better water retention, stability, and sustainable health properties for the soil.

What We've Learned (Cont.)

6. A native garden provides direct benefits to human health. Many of the native plants to Southern California have been used for centuries to treat chronic human health problems. Being in the midst of a living biodiverse ecosystem already has amazing therapeutic benefits to a human’s well-being, life perspective and productivity. Many native plants can be used as medicine in teas and foods also.

Plus, no chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides would linger in one’s touching, breathing and eating space.

Take A New Path

Take A New Path

© Scott Sporleder

Harmony!

Native plants have lived and adapted to our local conditions long before we arrived to share their living spaces.

They have a lot to teach us about living a healthy, abundant and sustainable life in Southern California. As they have welcomed us to live in their habitat, we could too invite and care for them in our gardens, practicing harmonious cohabitation at its best.