Learn How to Grow: Native Landscapes

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Our native flora have evolved in our region over geologic timescales. The lives of local fauna are entwined with the land—and with the plants that grow natively in our forests. Planted in the correct location, native plants can be more suited to local terrain and pH levels, which can make them far less fussy in warm summer months or much more hardy through winter’s long cold periods.

Outside our public lands, its hard to find property that hasn’t been altered by agriculture, development or invaded by invasive plant species. If you are trying to restore your property to a natural state, check out the work of our gardeners.

Image of woodland phlox

Woodland phlox is an excellent, low maintenance native ground cover for shady locations. Credit: flickr images.

Streams and wooded areas overrun by invasive species can be restored by planting the banks with native species that stabilize the soil and placing rocks and deadfall to slow the flow and create marine habitats. Ground covers like woodland phlox are excellent for preventing soil erosion in shady locations, and provide early spring nectar and pollen for native insects.

The 2020 Haywood County Garden Tour (July 11, 2020) offers a great learning opportunity for gardeners, homesteaders, and educators. The Gardens selected for the 2020 Tour showcase the diversity and bounty of Haywood horticulture. From market farms to native landscapes, the owners have met the challenges of growing in the mountains with creativity, care, and generosity. Master Gardener℠ volunteers will be available in each garden to provide information on how the garden owners met the unique challenges of their property.

Learn More!

For more information on landscaping with native plants and their value for wildlife species, check out the Extension Gardener Handbook chapters on native plants and wildlife. You can also visit the NC State University Plants Database or check out the “Going Native” website from NC State University.

Image of an assassin bug

Juvenile assassin bug on black eyed susan flower. Photo credit: Sam Marshall