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CREATE A SMALL WILD SPOT IN YOUR YARD!

Here's a link: A collection of wildflowers from a Palos Park yard.

Last Fall, we suggested creating a small wild spot in your yard as a solution to the problem of leaf disposal. Now, we would like to reveal some of the other good reasons for turning over a portion of your yard to native plants. Growing native plants will take you back several hundred years in history to when these plants predominated the local landscape . It is a return to the less organized, casual flower garden.

It has been proven that this approach to gardening requires much less maintenance, because native plants do not have to be mowed or pruned. So, one has eliminated the use of gasoline powered lawn equipment, which emits five percent of the nation™s air pollution. They require less water because of their long storage roots. Lawns in the USA use up to forty percent of our treated water. Native plants do not require fertilizers, thus avoiding run off. The phosphorous and nitrogen from fertilizers wash into our water systems, lakes, ponds, and rivers, and cause a rapid algae growth, turning the water green, and depleting the oxygen and harming natural aquatic life.

Native plants are plants that originated in an area and over hundreds of years have adapted to the local soil and climate. Contrary to public opinion, they do not aggravate allergies, because they are not wind pollinated plants, aside from native ragweed which would not be planted in a garden. Plants that cause allergies are not native. 

To create a finished landscape effect, place natural areas in planting beds with a defined border of stone, brick, or wood that compliments the landscape.

In the next issue, we will make suggestions of some native plants that could do well in your yard. Also, consult the Tree Body Resource File at the Palos Park Public Library for a wealth of ideas on native and natural landscaping.