For the next two years, garden clubs across Massachusetts are joining an initiative to encourage the planting of native plants. Why native plants? For one, these plants are adapted to our local climate and soil conditions and thus can be easier to grow. They are also a very important part of the local food web, providing seeds, pollen, nectar, and forage for our wildlife.
The leaves of native trees and plants play host to many butterflies and moths, and in turn many birds rely on those caterpillars for food, especially for their babies. However, the vast majority of our native insects only feed on particular species that they have adapted to over time – which means they need native plants. Our native oak trees are hosts to over 550 different species of caterpillars, for example, while the non-native ginkgo only hosts 5. Without native plants, much of our wildlife would disappear.
Native plants are an essential part of our ecosystem for many reasons, and we can help by choosing natives for our garden. Find out more on Tuesday, April 7, at 7:00pm at the Holliston Senior Center where our speaker Claudia Thompson will be giving a talk on Using Native Plants in Your Garden… Why it Matters.