annas-hummingbird-tallNatural is beautiful! A new movement currently afoot is changing the face of many of the region’s gardens. Rather than using mostly exotic and tropical plants (many of which require lots of water), gardeners are discovering the beauty of native plants. Native plant gardens can incorporate just as much complexity and creativity as exotic plant gardens. They usually require less water, little or no pesticides and fertilizers, and create habitat and food sources for wildlife such as birds and butterflies.

How do I practice Natural Gardening?

With proper technique and some planning, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers can be reduced or eliminated altogether from our lawns and gardens. This means better health for people and local wildlife. Composting provides nutrients and texture for soil. Certain plants attract beneficial insects, birds and bats that control pests without the need for chemicals.

Water conservation is important in the CRD during our dry summers. Using less water also helps to prevent erosion, and limits the amount of pollutants that are flushed off impervious surfaces and into streams and harbours. Conserving water doesn't necessarily mean a "parched" looking garden, especially if you use native plants that are adapted to this climate.

There are many excellent natural gardening guides available. By incorporating some of the techniques described in the resources below, gardeners can add to the beauty of their landscapes, create wildlife habitat, reduce pollution and water use, and possibly even save time, money and effort.

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