Posted by: Dan | February 23, 2007

RP: Native Plants for Urban America

Repost: From my original blog, on biophilia:

I’m not much of a gardener, but I do love the beautiful green places of the world – green growing things that represent life itself flourishing. Plants brighten the places where we live and work, convert the sun’s energy into life, and improve air and water quality. Native plant species, in particular, fit in ideally with an area’s ecosystem, as the EPA explains:

Landscaping with native plants improves the environment. Native plants are hardy because they have adapted to the local conditions. Once established, native plants do not need pesticides, fertilizers, or watering. Not only is this good for the environment, it saves time and money. A native landscape does not need to be mowed like a conventional lawn. This reduces the demand for non-renewable resources and improves the water and air quality. The periodic burning (or mowing when burning is not practical) required for maintenance of a prairie landscape mimics the natural prairie cycle and is much better for the environment. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses helps return the area to a healthy ecosystem. Diverse varieties of birds, butterflies and animals, are attracted to the native plants, thus enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The beauty of native wildflowers and grasses creates a sense of place, both at home and work. The native plants increase our connection to nature, help educate our neighbors, and provide a beautiful, peaceful place to relax.

With that in mind, companies are springing up here and there across the country promoting such Green landscaping. One such company I’ve been introduced to in the NY region is Drosera, specializing in urban landscaping in NYC. Named for a genus of plants commonly called “Sundews,” Drosera is …

…an ecology-focuesed company dedicated to celebrating nature, New York City life, culture and all of the ways that they intertwine to shape and enrich people’s lives. On these pages, you will find elements of ecology, design, nature, geography, art, horticulture, urbanism, history, geology, media, community, evolution, culture, and restoration.

Or, summarized in a word, “Biophilia.”

Drosera offers services that include native plant garden design, constructing clients’ floral inventories and herbariums (lasting personalized records of the plants on your property), and landscape design and restoration. The website also has a very impressive list of references, covering many related topics, for those looking for an information resource in their own love of botany and ecology.

This is a great business idea, that I hope to hear become more popular, as more people appreciate our environment’s natural ecology and think Sustainability.

More information on these issues is available at Wild Ones, and on management of invasive plants, run by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Also, check out Drosera’s blog: A Botanist’s Big Apple.



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  2. […] suburban lawn was unseemly, even though one might be an outcast to let it grow into a jungle. Native plants especially, are always a very welcome sight with […]


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