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1) With Local Native Plants, Your Garden Can Become a Native Plant Community

The biggest advantage of using local native plants, and one from which many practical advantages derive, is that local native plants belong here. That is, local plants have evolved here in San Diego over many thousands of years and thus are fully naturalized to our local climatic conditions. This in turn makes them ideal for use in drought-tolerant gardens.

Moreover, the fact that a native plant "belongs" here is not just a relation between an individual plant and a locale. Each local native plant evolved here as part of larger plant community. In this sense, it is the whole plant community that is native to our region. Thus, when planted collectively in a setting close to where they naturally occur, local native plants can function in gardens as they do in nature, ecologically and aesthetically. The strengths of the habitat-based gardens we design are built on this natural correspondence between a plant community and its locale. (For further discussion of the advantages of  a community-based  approach please go to Plant Community as the Basis for Native Garden Design.)

One possible limitation to this approach is that it restricts variety of plants to choose from. Selection is limited, mostly, to those natives that belong to the plant community that occur in the climate and soil type of the area you are in. However, as a designer I have found that this limitation loses its import as one develops a sense of the value of "re-creating" a native plant community, and the joy of living next to one. Planting by community adds a sense of connectivity and thus, a sense of meaning to the garden. This contrasts with gardens made up of a pretty collection of unrelated individuals. What populating a garden with community members provides is the possibility of their maturing together into the inherent collective identity that a native plant community can have.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact us
by e-mail at northparknativeplants@yahoo.com
or by phone at 619-846-0585.
We look forward to hearing from you.

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