Is There a Middle Ground?
We've talked about historical restoration, restoration after devastation, and we touched very lightly on the restoration of ecosystems.
Someone here recommended "Noah's Garden" which I'm in the middle of reading...I'm not through yet.
Unlike most gardeners, my husband & I started gardening with native plants. In our current location, which used to be a cow pasture, we planted all kinds of natives for our area--yaupon hollies, possumhaws, rusty blackhaw viburnums, Texas persimmon, etc. We also left alone the agarito, four-nerve daisies, coreopsis, stinging nettle, and native rain lilies that came with the land. We didn't put in sod, but kept the grasses that grew here, not all of which are native.
I understand the reason why people use natives, one of which is to restore the land to its original state for wildlife and to preserve the diverse native species...I obviously support the use of natives, but as a gardener of 10-plus years, I've grown weary of growing & seeing the same native plants again and again. While some of them are quite beautiful, other natives in my eyes are just plain ugly.--I let them grow anyway.
So, is there a middle ground? Is it so awful to take a small portion of our land--not even 1/3rd of it--and grow some non-natives in with the natives? What's your opinion? Aren't there some non-natives that are useful to birds and bugs?
Yucca is one native I could do without. (My husband says all of the yucca-lovers will come and egg our house after they read this post.) And speaking of yuccas, what special bird/bug do they support? Give me a reason to like this plant.