While all of us are adjusting to life in the fight against COVID-19, hopefully you have noticed that spring is arriving and new flowers are starting to bloom and new leaves are budding. Yes, we are indeed making my our way through Lent and Easter and Easter flowers will soon be here. For me, that means it’s time to get back to my gardening, which for the past couple of years has included adding native plants to my yard.
There are a lot of benefits to planting native. Initially, a big one for me is that native plants are generally easier to grow. I’ve found that they are also more resistant to our increasing deer and rabbit populations. Even better, despite being resistant to some, they are more beneficial to most of our wildlife, especially birds. After planting some native red cardinal flowers and columbine flowers last year, I was thrilled to see humming birds in my yard for the first time!
I was reminded of the benefits native plants provide our birds from a story that ran in the news at the end of 2018,
As I sat down to write this, I was planning a trip to one of our local nurseries to buy an Eastern Red Cedar (my second) and a couple of Mountain Laurel (I planted three last year). I haven’t gotten my yard to the 70 percent native plant goal, but we’re getting there, adding plants in place of some lawn, and replacing some (I planted an American Hornbeam to replace a Cornus Kousa – a Chinese Dogwood that will be eventually taken down with the Purple Line construction). We have several area nurseries that carry a good selection of native plants, in fact this year the Silver Spring Home Depot on US 29 even has a selection of native trees and shrubs. Remember that if you are purchasing a native tree that is over $50, you can use a $25 coupon from the state of Maryland – visit:
So hopefully in this rather different Lenten season you can help care for God’s creation and plant one or two Maryland native plants in your yard – or even on your balcony! This week, research one Maryland native plant you can add to your yard or balcony and be ready to purchase and plant it once the pandemic recedes. These links to the National Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation databases are great places to start:
Thanks everyone and continue to stay safe and healthy,