Gardening columnist Carol Savonen’s newest installment in the Salem, Ore. Statesman Journal concerns native plants, and how they can make a garden more attractive and easier to care for at the same time. But there’s an important bit of advice in there:
This doesn’t mean that you can just plant them and walk away. “Many gardeners make the mistake of thinking that native plants can fend for themselves in the garden,” said Linda McMahan, native plant expert and horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Yamhill County. “Establishing native plants requires care.” Each type of native plant does best only when its requirements for temperature, moisture, light, soil and terrain are met. The first thing to do when considering growing natives is to pay attention to the microenvironments in your home landscape. Walk your yard and pick one area where you’d like to introduce a few natives this spring. Which way does that part of your yard face? How many hours of sunlight does it receive? Is it well-drained or soggy all winter? With those factors in mind, choose native plants accordingly.
Good advice to give your customers. Remember, their success is your success. If you steer them right, they’ll be back for more.