I had planned my next several articles to look at subjects such insects, pollinators, butterflies, birds, bats, and dragonflies in the Conservation Garden, and those will be coming over the next several weeks. But I couldn’t let a response to the article “What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards” published today by Michelle Owens of Garden Rant. Make sure to read the comments because there are very strong opinions expressed on both sides of this argument.
The women of Garden Rant are funny, supportive of Michelle Obama’s organic garden, and usually a very fun read. This article, however, saddened me a lot. We cannot continue to take away more and more habitat and hope that wildlife will survive anyway. We have to each take responsibility for giving something back, and invasive plants are not the way to do that.
I have already talked here about the problem invasive plants pose to ecosystems and my own feelings about invasive plants. After reading Michelle’s article today, though, it makes me think that the native plant/invasive plant argument is kind of like the gun control argument, sparking intense passions on both sides. Neither side is willing to come together at all, and it feels like some are saying, “you can pry my yellow flag iris from my cold, dead fingers.”
I was thrilled that so many people who commented about the dangers of invasive plants cited Doug Tallamy‘s book Bringing Nature Home: how native plants sustain wildlife in our gardens, as I have already stated that this book is so important and should be ready by every homeowner.
Remember that our goal at this site is to “give a little back to wildlife” because so many species are in trouble due to habitat loss, destruction, and degradation due to human action. Each of us can make responsible choices in the stewardship of our properties which can add up to great benefits to wildlife.
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I agree with you. I live in a popular area where native habitat is scraped away, caliche brought in, homes are built and "fake", so to speak, non native plants are added. Non-native lawn grasses, non native shrubs and sometimes 2 native trees in the front yard. Only thing is, these 2 trees are usually Live Oaks, a tree where there is a monoculture of now in an area where there is a lot of Oak Wilt. I am a GREEN REALTOR or EcoBroker and I try to help developers see the need to not scrape the whole development area to leave native species.