I just read the wonderful and inspiring book, Nature’s Best Hope, by Douglas Tallamy that talks about creating your own “Homegrown National Park” in your yard by planting native plants.
What a hopeful and interesting read, packed with wonderful facts and information that is a gardener’s delight. It will inspire you to plant natives in your own yard and create your own homegrown national park that you can visit everyday – without a commute, admission fees or crowds. Now that’s a good idea. 🙂
Below are some of my “notes” from reading this hopeful book, I love the idea of creating a huge network made up of all of our own landscapes planted with native plants to support wildlife across the world. Everyone can create a small ecosystem for native insects, bees, birds and wildlife within their own landscapes around them that will provide endless entertainment and fascination just steps outside your back door.
I also have been dreaming of talking to our city planners and foresters to work on turning our Denver parkways into pollinator habitats. These tree-lined corridors could replace thirsty grass with native plants and shrubs to become strips of bird and pollinator habitat that crosses through our neighborhoods. We could even incorporate walkways for bikes and walkers/joggers to enjoy nature right in the heart of the city. Think Denver Botanic Gardens – but right down the street. We could turn our Parkways into botanical gardens of native plants that actually thrive in our climate with little to no added water or fertilization.
In the book, author Doug Tallamy mentions two great resources for finding native plants in your area:
Both of these websites are great resources that will help you choose native plants that thrive in your specific area, turning your landscape into a haven for wildlife.
Below are search results from the audubon.org/native-plants/ website showing some flowers for my zip code (80220) and what birds and other wildlife they support. It’s fun to plant native plants and see how every year you have more “natural pets” visiting your landscape. If you plant it, they will come.
I’ve always been interested in planting the Maximilian Sunflower which comes back ever year. Goldenrod is also on the list, which I already enjoy in my garden, it is loaded with pollinators of all types in the late summer. Gorgeous and really interesting to watch all the creatures visiting the many blooms.
Denver residents, also be sure to check out this local book: Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Front Range & Foothills published by the Colorado Native Plant Society, which is a great resource for Denver area gardeners, city landscapers, city planners, and foresters and who want to plant more native plants in their landscapes: