Climate Change and the Native Plant Connection

December 28, 2021

By Kathleen Kennedy

Bridge Gardens

When considering the future of our climate, there are numerous actions you can take to help reduce or reverse climate change. These include using alternative energy sources like solar power, creating a living shoreline to help absorb storm surge, and reducing waste through composting and recycling. But did you know that growing more native plants in your landscape also offers significant benefits?

Native plants are adapted to the climate and soil conditions where they naturally grow and require much less water, fertilizer, and pest controls. They sequester or absorb carbon in their root systems which also absorb water, reducing flooding and erosion. Just as importantly, they support biodiversity by providing nectar, pollen and seeds for wildlife as well as an environment for these animals to live and breed.

Showcasing sustainable, low impact gardening practices is a primary focus of the educational workshops at Bridge Gardens, and that includes growing native plants. Garden Director Rick Bogusch has incorporated many new native plants into the beds at Bridge Gardens since the Trust received the donation of this 5-acre public space in 2008. These plants offer four-season beauty for your landscape and there are many from which to choose.

In his monthly Bridge Gardens e-newsletter, Rick has shared some of his favorites. They include Spring-blooming bloodroot, which thrives in shade or partial shade, sunloving Coreopsis ‘Gold Standard’, and Rudbeckia ‘Autumn Sun’ – both offering beautiful yellow blossoms and seed heads for birds in autumn. Trees and shrubs are also important components to the landscape and Rick suggests Clethra alnifolia or summersweet, a shrub with rich green foliage and spikes of white fragrant flowers that draw pollinators.

For more information visit our blog, and plan to join us for upcoming workshops at Bridge Gardens in 2022

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