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Gardening with Nature

Gardening with Nature

Gardening with Nature promotes the planting of native plants as the base of the food chain that supports all wildlife including pollinators vital to our agriculture. The native ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere have developed independently for over 80 million years. Microorganisms in the soil, plants and animals evolved together to create a balanced system. The balance has long been disturbed by overdevelopment, pollution, garden chemicals and the planting of lawns which require mowing, irrigation, and chemical inputs.

We look forward to hearing from State Presidents or their Chairmen who wish to participate in this program.

Coordinated by the NGC Environmental Concerns and Horticulture Committees

Victoria Bergesen and Bud Qualk, Project Chairmen

What Gardeners Can Do

  • Increase planting areas by restricting lawn to area with foot traffic and play areas. Mow at 3-4 inches and do its less often. Taller grass needs less irrigation.
  • Remove invasive species as they do not contribute to the native biome and threaten native species.
  • Plant keystone genera that support local ecosystems by feeding insects. Native oaks, cherries, willows, birches, cottonwoods, elms, goldenrods, asters, and perennial sunflowers are often good choices, but find out what is best for your area.
  • Plant generously in large areas. Plant in layers: trees, understory trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • Plant for specialist pollinators. We need to support our 4,000 species of native bees.
  • Network with neighbors. Share seeds and seedlings.
  • Build conservation hardscapes: cover window wells, use motion detector outdoor lights at night, create bird-friendly baths with bubblers, place small bee hotels around the garden.
  • Create caterpillar pupation sites under our trees. 90% of caterpillars drop to the ground pupating in the duff or burrowing into the soil.
  • Avoid insecticide spraying and non-organic fertilizers.
  • Educate your Neighborhood Civic Associations, Tree Commissions etc.

This project was inspired by Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy, which we highly recommend. Contact us for a longer list of resources (books, websites, organizations).

Homegrown National Park


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