What if we told you not all plants are created equal?
Well, that wouldn’t quite be true, as we believe everything in nature has its place. However, what we choose to plant in our gardens matters. Being a Conscious Gardener requires the awareness that our landscaping choices impact our ecosystems at large. Just like choosing to eat nutrient rich foods helps keep our bodies happy and healthy, choosing plants that will contribute to the environment is essential to maintaining balance on this Earth.
Hover your mouse over each picture below to learn about the state of our ecosystems,
and why it is more important now than ever to embody the essence of a Conscious Gardener!
We can save nature, but only if we learn to live with it." - Doug Tallamy
"Insects are the little things that run the world" - E.O Wilson
80% of all plants and 90% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals
Insects are essential components of nearly every food web on Earth!
90% of insects
can only eat plants
with which they
co-evolved, meaning natives are essential to sustaining
Yet we are losing them en masse...
Invertebrate abundance has declined 45% globally since 1974.
Over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction
have declined by 90% in the last 20 years, and 25% of our bumble bee populations are at risk of extinction - with 3 species already
1/3 of North American birds are at risk
Insects are a primary component of bird's diets, contributing heavily to the losses
We have 1.5 billion fewer birds compared to 40 years ago, with 46 species losing more than half of their population
Frogs, toads, bats, rodents, many larger mammals, and yes, you would eventually struggle to survive without insects.
And it's more than just insects...
Bringing life to your door
Layered landscapes incorporating native trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plants (most perennials) will provide the vital ecosystem services needed to sustain life on this planet.
5% of the native plants in North America support 73% of the available caterpillar species. Oaks, cherries, maples, and willows are just a few examples of these "foraging hubs" that will bring life to your door and the Earth!
"Do I need to rip out all of my non-native plants and replace them?"
While it may not be practical to do an overhaul of your property in one season, choosing natives, avoiding toxic chemicals, and giving less of your land to lawn will go a long way in bringing balance back to the nature around you.
The "Great" american Lawn and Garden
There are 45.6 million acres of lawn in the US - that's more than our 29 largest national parks... combined!
Most lawns are non-functioning ecosystems due to sterile, non-native grasses that fail to provide food or habitat for important creatures.
(Not to mention the environmental impact of mowing and watering!)
"Pest-free" plants (popular at many home improvement stores and nurseries) may look nice to the eye, but they do not provide food and often restrict native plants from being able to grow.
What are the causes?
Industrial agriculture and habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization are the largest drivers of population declines.
Both household and industrial use of pesticides and fertilizers also contribute heavily to the losses.
Invasive species continue to take over our land - from roadsides to home gardens - these invasives displace native plant communities.
So What Should I plant?
The Native Plant Finder is an incredible resource
for learning how to transform your
garden into a thriving ecosystem.
Simply enter your zip code and see a list of the beneficial plants native to your area.
Ready to be a Conscious Gardener?
We give wildflower seeds native to
your region free with every order!