Wild Ones   Preservation and Restoration of Native Communities  

Native Plants

Why Wild Ones? Why Native Landscapes?
Why Wild Ones? Wild Ones encourages us to establish a personal relationship with the natural world, a relationship that literally invites native plants and wildlife back into our immediate lives. By Portia Brown.

Wild Ones advocates the selection of plants and seeds derived, insofar as possible, from local or regional sources at sites having the same or similar environmental conditions as the site of planting. Such plant material is often termed the local ecotype. Guidelines for selecting native plants

Plant material that originates in and is native to geographic regions are often referred to as ecoregions by scientists. It is better to use a source from your geographic region but outside your state than to use a source from a different geographic region inside your state. Such regions are often referred to as ecoregions by scientists. The ecoregions within the U.S. are best delineated by The Nature Conservancy U.S. Ecoregions Map

Wild Ones Philosophy Wild Types: Differentiating Between Native Plants and Horticultural Specimens. By Maryann Whitman.

Mysteries Explored A series of mysteries relating to natural landscaping, and the ways we are part of this delicate system of connections -- explored by Wild Ones Journal Editor, Maryann Whitman.
A Mystery Explored Have you ever wondered why we can say that native plants do not need to be fertilized, or have any chemicals thrown at them?
Further Mysteries Explored Every bit of soil among our native plants and their roots is potentially teeming with activity.
A Mystery Explored (It's All One Piece) We continue to explore man's traditional treatment of the soil, the results of this treatment, and the benefits that accrue through the planting and tending of natural landscapes, using native plants.
Thinking About Mycorrhizae And roots, and fungi, and hyphae, and how plants really get their nutrients.
Mycorrhizae and Plants It is this relationship that lets our established native plants flourish without being watered or artificially fertilized.
Glomalin: Hiding Place for a Third of the World's Stored Soil Carbon Glomalin is causing a complete reexamination of what makes up soil organic matter.
Buckthorn, Birds & Diarrhea Along with its other sins, does buckthorn cause diarrhea in foraging birds?

Insects in Winter
Insects in Winter Should we care what happens to insects in winter? Insects aren't just important they're essential, because so many animals eat them. If insects were to disappear, the food web and the animals they support (including us) would vanish as well. Find out how you can help the insects in your yard make it through the winter. Article by Doug Tallamy.

Gardening for Life
With the U.S. population nearing three hundred and six million, and growing by more than eight thousand every day, we have to get serious about habitat for our fellow creatures. Gardening for Life Article by Doug Tallamy.

For a shorter version of this article to use as a download to share with family and friends, go to 2-page Gardening for Life

Connecting to the Future
Corridors for a Healthier Environment

Corridors that connect natural areas can help sustain our environment, native plants, and local wildlife.
A series of articles by Sally Elmiger
Corridors for a Healthy Environment - Part 1.
Corridors for a Healthy Environment - Part 2.
Corridors for a Healthy Environment - Part 3.

Stopover Habitats and Hedgerows
The Importance of Using Native Plants in Small Stopover Habitats By Donald S. Heintzelman. Enhancing thousands of small yards with native plants can help make up for the loss of larger habitats along bird migration routes.
Berrying the Pump Stations How natural landscaping turned a bunch of ugly sewer pump stations into an attractive wildlife habitat. By Sara Stein.

Rain Gardens
Beautiful, small gardens make good use of rain water.
From Rain Barrels to Rain Gardens by Lorrie Otto.
Rain Garden Puts Run-off to Work by Mandy Ploch.
Rain Gardens on Clay Soil Sites by Beth Storey.

People are recognizing the benefits of natural shorelands and actively restoring them.
Restoring Shorelands: A Growing Solution by Carmen Wagner.

The Vernal Pool: A Place of Wonder Vernal pools are uniqe and interesting wetlands, usually found in forested areas and are wet only for a period of time each year. Read more. By Tom Schneider.

They're Not from Mars, But These Alien Invaders Are Deadly to Native Species
Ignoring invasive plants won't work. We have to identify them and treat them like the enemies they are.
Why We Cannot Ignore Invasive Plants by Elizabeth J. Czarapata.
Dealing with Alien Invasives: Know the Enemy by Maryann Whitman.
Suggestions for Controlling Invasive Species by Ken Solis.

Things to Know About Invasive Species
Why We Cannot Ignore Invasive Plants From our favorite wildflowers, all the way up to giant oak trees, the very existence of our native plants is threatened by alien invaders.
Dealing with Alien Invasives: Know the Enemy Getting to know the enemy is the first step in winning the war.
Garden or Prairie in a Can? Hold It! Are you sure that can of "instant prairie flowers" is what you think it is? Wildflower seed mixes include some wicked bloomers. Also see joint Press Release from Wild Ones and University of Washington.
Is it ever safe to use Roundup (or any other herbicide)? It's time to separate the facts from the fiction -- the myth from the truth.
Garlic mustard. It looks like mustard. Crush the leaves and it smells like garlic. Now you know where the name comes from -- read on to find out why you don't want it around.
Buckthorn, Birds & Diarrhea Along with its other sins, does buckthorn cause diarrhea in foraging birds?

Native Plants: Beyond the birdfeeder. Gardening for birds and other wildlife.
Mariette Nowak's great series of informative and readable articles related to the ways you can help birds and other wildlife by gardening with native plants.
Serviceberry Birds descend in droves to feed on ripening serviceberries, one of the first fruits of early summer.
Silphiums In addition to food, the dense foliage of silphiums provides protection for birds from predators and harsh weather.
Dogwood Trees The berries of the beautiful dogwood tree are high in fat, and are especially valuable for migrating birds.
Hawthorns The hawthorn's copious spring blossoms draw pollinating insects, which bring in the birds. Even the thorns are helpful to birds, such as shrikes.
Pines The good-looking pines rank above every other conifer in their value as food plants for birds and other wildlife.
Pussy Willow One of the heralds of spring, the pussy willow provides food for a variety of birds, and also provides great nesting spots, while many other animals feast on the twigs and foliage.
Wild Columbine The beautiful flowers of the wild columbine do more than just look good. The red-color columbines have especially rich nectar, which really brings in the hummingbirds.
Mulberry Tree Want to attract fruit-eating birds to your property? More than 50 species of birds are known to feed on mulberries, and over 30 species of birds count mulberries as their favorite food.

Invasives on the Horizon
Janet Allen's great series of informative and readable articles related to invasive plants.
Porcelainberry Plant catalogs can make this invasive plant sound like just the plant you want and need, but don't fall for it.
Black Swallowwort The wild spreading of this invasive not only blots out native species, but it makes things difficult for wildlife, such as monarch butterflies.
Nipped in the "Budd" Nothing draws people's ire as quickly as suggesting they not plant buddleia in a butterfly garden. Get the facts here.
Burning Bush Even if you enjoy the look of this invasive, burning bush should be one of the first plants you yank out of your yard.
Japanese Barberry Often planted as an ornamental shrub, this fast-spreading invasive causes major problems.
Covering the Ground With Invasives Because of their tendency to spread quickly, many homeowners plant invasives as groundcover, but some of these invasives can escape, crowd out other plants, and even kill trees.
Dame's Rocket Hiding behind more than one alias, and often sold by seed companies and nurseries, this attractive alien can do a lot of damage to native species.
The Daylily They're beautiful, so what's wrong? As with many invasive plants, the reasons they're problematic ecologically are often the very reasons they're popular.

Small Urban Landscaping With Native Species: Common Pitfalls (What Goes Wrong)
Unfortunately, many attempts at establishing native plantings in small-scale urban settings end in disaster -- resulting in overgrown, weedy, and unattractive flowerbeds. Professional designer of native-plant landscapes, Inger Lamb, shows you what goes wrong, and how to do it right.
View the HTML version here.
View or download the PDF file version, suitable for printing handouts.

Cues to Care: The Language of Neighborly Landscaping
This article, by Sally Elmiger, tells how to design yards that will be accepted more readily and possibly appreciated if not actually emulated by those who have traditional ideas about landscaping.
View the HTML version here.
View or download the PDF file version, suitable for printing handouts.

Green Gables: An American Landscape Designed With Nature in Mind
It was just a normal piece of lakeside property when Richard Ehrenberg bought the place back in 1993. In this series of articles he describes how he took his .8 acres from a typical lawn to a wonderful natural/native landscape.
Introduction When he bought the property, Ehrenberg knew that nothing about the place would remind anyone of Green Gables, but he gave it that name anyway, and went to work.
Planning Ehrenberg's careful planning resulted in habitat for wildlife, and allowed the beauty of nature to be part of the yard while also creating a habitat for people.
A Front-Yard Forest Measuring just 50 feet x 85 feet, the Green Gables front-yard forest is a big part of the transformation.
A Prairie Garden Fourteen years ago the back yard was a back yard. Today it's a prairie garden filled with natural beauty.
Lakeshore Shade A variety of native trees, native woodland flowers, and even some interesting metal wildlife creatures (sculpture) make for a woodsy lakeshore setting.
Sumac & Raspberries Staghorn sumac, prairie rose, and black raspberry are just some of the shrubs that add interest to the yard at Green Gables.
What I Have Learned A great list of lessons learned, conclusions, and still learning into the future.
Camouflaged Drainage An almost invisible drainage system does the job while staying in aesthetic harmony with nature.

The Tongs of Death
Original Tongs of Death First there was the hopelessness of pulling out one weed at a time. Then there was the "Glove of Death." But wait until you discover the "Tongs of Death."
L-o-n-g Tongs of Death If you liked the original Tongs of Death, you're going to love this new, improved version. Complete with instructions on how to make your own.

Newly Planted Trees and Shrubs Have to Breathe
The "dos" and "don'ts" of planting trees and shrubs.
Doing Right By Trees and Shrubs by Fran Gustman.

Identifying and Selecting Native Plants
Selection guidelines drafted by the Wild Ones Local Ecotype Committee
Why Hardiness Zones, Native Ranges, Ecoregions? by Mariette Nowak.
The Root of the Matter by Randal Maurer.
Botanical Latin 101 by Fran Gustman.

Flowers and Grasses
Spring Blooms in Eastern Woodlands
Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, is a special place. By Cheryl Lowe.
Going for the GOLDenrod: Praise for the Stalwart Solidagos. We are just beginning to realize the merits of the versatile goldenrods. By C. Colston Burrell.

Native Landscaping Where?
Growing Vine Street describes some creative ideas for native landscaping in a densely populated Seattle neighborhood.

Restoring Woodlands
How I Created My Woodland. by Wild Ones Executive Director, Donna VanBuecken.
The subtitle, "Or What I Did to Save My Rescued Woodland Plants!" tells the story.

Writing About Your Native Landscaping
What Is an Herbarium? Journal article by Katherine D. Rill. (160 KB)
You might say it's a collection of plants, dried, pressed, and glued onto regulation-sized acid-free paper. But it's even more than that. From the November/December 2003 Wild Ones Journal.
Keeping a Journal by Lynda Gibson Johnson. The pleasures of keeping a written journal regarding your experiences with native plants.
If You Want Your Child to Keep a Journal. by Babette Kis. Here's how to get them interested, and how to keep them that way.
Joy Buslaff's Yard Tour brochure. (380 KB) Hosting a yard tour? If so, better check this one out. Is it a "reference library," a "vantage point," a "dance floor," a "classroom," or an "infinite series of picturesque scenes"? It's all this, and a lot more. It's Joy Buslaff's yard.
The Journey of My Journal, by Babette Kis, is almost guaranteed to get you started on the right track. Even if you've never thought of starting a journal before, this article will have you sharpening up your pencils.

From Seeds to Plant Rescues
For the "do it yourselfers," learn about gathering, storing and propagating seed. Members of Wild Ones participate in plant rescues which also can be rewarding, but it has to be done right. Here we've got the ins, the outs, the dos, and the don'ts, all in one place for you.

To the Rescue: Saving Native Plants From Destruction by Mariette Nowak. Tips for a successful plant rescue. Plant rescues are a rewarding way to limit the loss of our native flora, and beautify our gardens and/or natural areas at the same time.

Lawns Without Mowing
So You Want a "No Mow" Lawn. It's beautiful. when you walk on it, you stay right on top with the soles of your shoes barely covered.

The "what" and the "why" of native plants as a part of your landscape. For more information go to landscaping with native plants.

Wild Ones Book Reviews
We've reviewed lots of good books in the Wild Ones Journal. Visit our Book Review section to see for yourself.

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Updated: Dec 08, 2011.