Tis’ the season for gardening.
The Spring season creates a perfect setting to begin planning your home landscaping. If you have a green thumb, curating a garden may be nothing new to you. But, perhaps this year, you’d like to put more meaning into this activity, rather than planting for purely aesthetic reasons. As we’ve mentioned on our blog once before, you can greatly benefit local ecosystems by putting together a garden filled with native Long Island plants! Benefits of native plants include; providing a vital source of survival for native pollinators or insects, less money spent on fertilizers as native plants typically do not require it, less damage caused by invasive plants, and most importantly it allows us to appreciate the beauty Long Island naturally provides!
Here are some Long Island Natives to consider for your native gardens:
These yellow daisy-like flowers are native to the Eastern part of North America. They bloom from June-October and grow up to 2 feet tall. With these plants you will attract butterflies, sparrows, jays and more!
2. Great Blue Lobelia
This beautiful native flower will add a perfect pop of blue to your garden from July to October. The bright colors are highly attractive to pollinators like bumblebees or hummingbirds! It’s important to keep in mind that this flower requires a moist soil, so you must maintain proper watering practices.
3. New York Aster
Getting its name from its northeast native location, New York Asters don’t stay in bloom very long, so be sure to appreciate these flowers during their short stay between September and October. Make sure to keep these flowers in the sunlight as they typically thrive off dry soil and sun.
4. Virgin’s Bower
If you’re looking to add some native vines into your garden, Virgin’s Bower makes a great option. It’s important to know that these vines grow fast, but can easily be controlled by trimming. The fragrance of the flowers will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees! You may even see birds setting up nests within the vines.
Perhaps none of these specific native flowers stand out to you, but don’t worry! The Audubon Society put together a native species database where you can look up native species based on your zip code!
By Miranda Gonzales, Long Island Pine Barrens Society