Sunday, October 19, 2014

Candle or Mirror?

Edith Wharton wrote: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.".

I'd meant all along to post about Native Plant Week (October 19-25, 2014) but when I first noticed it was coming up, it was early September and honestly, there was too much work to be done in the garden beds themselves before it would be proper to stop and write about anything on the garden blog.
Mockingbird sitting guard over Beautyberry bush berries (Callicarpa americana)
One chore led to another, you know how that goes, and suddenly, here it is Native Plant Week observed, and I found myself unprepared to celebrate much beyond raising a cup of coffee to the native plants already established in our spaces.
Horace's Duskywing Skipper Butterfly on Augusta Duelberg White Mealy Sage (Salvia farinacea)
"OK", I thought to myself, "I can at least organize something to post and raise awareness a little.".  And right as I was thinking that, THIS popped into my inbox.  Tina of My Gardener Says had already written a lovely (and comprehensive) meditation on why it is not only important but deeply rewarding on every level to use native plants in the landscape.
Mockingbird eating berries off Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria)
I've written some recently (posts here, here, and here) about taking out non-native plants that have dominated certain sunny spots in my spaces to be replaced with natives that better support local and migratory wildlife. I don't really have anything significant to add today, so I'm going the "what SHE said" route.  When it comes to reading about the joys of native plant gardening, Tina's post truly says it all.  If you haven't yet, do drop in and read what she has to say, and then I'm going to challenge you to take it a couple of steps further.
Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood tree) 
Go outside and identify at least two native plants you have in play at your own place. (HINT: the native plants are typically the ones drawing in the most bees, butterflies and other wildlife.)  The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center's plant finder is a great resource to help you with names and other helpful information.
A mini-grove of Pavonia lasiopetala (Rock rose) coming right up!
Now, make plans to introduce more. You won't be sorry!

Happy Native Plant Week all!  Here's hoping if you aren't already enjoying the additional benefits of going native, that this will be the week that changes all that.