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No Green Thumb? Go Native!

June 13, 2013

My next door neighbor’s yard puts ours to shame.  They’ve basically got a full English garden going on back there.  While we struggle to keep our grass from growing taller than our child, the neighbors are out there pruning the climbing hydrangea, harvesting lemons from the tree, which she’s moved throughout the day for optimal sunlight, and splitting her gigantic perennials because they are reaching rainforest proportions. Their landscaping success rankles my husband, who is a competitive perfectionist, but I like to remind him that they are retired, and we are just…well, tired.  So we do what we can.

This year, I’ve had a major face-palm, why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before, Ah-ha realization that has made a huge difference in my garden. Stick with native plants! Plants that are native to your local area are out there growing in the wild with no human help at all! They have adapted perfectly to the climate, moisture, and soil and will literally grow like weeds in your yard. WHY DO I KEEP PLANTING IMPATIENS?? Never again, my friends.

Want to see what’s native in your area? The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has the most extensive database, which you can browse to your heart’s content.  Search by everything from location to bloom color to leaf characteristics and enjoy a beautiful, low maintenance garden this year! Check it out at

Picture: Coreopsis tinctoria (aka Goldenwave or Calliopsis) Native to Ohio!

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