Dig It! Native Plant Use in our Landscapes
Meeting High Altitude Gardening Challenges
by Sage and Snow Garden Club
June 4, 2007
Because there are so many beautiful native plant species being introduced into landscapes, the interest in incorporating native plants is at an all-time high. So, what is a native plant? There are differing opinions, even among experts. Letís keep it simple and define a native plant as a plant found growing and reproducing naturally in a region over a very long period of time without any prior human interference. Success with native plants is dependant on putting the right plant in the right soil, and only planting different species together that have matching soil, light and water requirements.
Our short growing season, soil pH, unexpected frosts, lack of rain, and heavy snows definitely make gardening challenging in the Pinedale area. Our last frost free date averages around June 15. Our first frost date in the fall averages about August 15. Between June 15 and August 15, we have an average of only 28 frost-free days! With that in mind, there are advantages to gardening with native plants. They have evolved to grow reliably in less than ideal conditions. They donít require significant care once established. They are resistant to common pests. They provide food and cover for birds and beneficial insects. Planting native plants on our properties reflects the geographical area in which we live.
For those people who may think native plants are too common for a place in the garden or less attractive than cultivated species, we suggest that they browse through catalogs, books, or web sites that contain native plants. Take a walk with a knowledgeable plant person or visit a botanical garden that has native plants. You might be pleasantly surprised.
To learn more specifically about native plant use in landscapes, receive a list of resource people and web sites, permit requirements for digging your own native plants, and a sampling of retail sources for native plants, please join the Sage & Snow Garden Club at 11:15 a.m., Tuesday, June 12, Sublette Co. Library small meeting room, Pinedale. The monthly business meeting will begin at 12 noon. Both the presentation and business meeting are open to the public. If you can't come to the meeting, you can contact the Garden Club at email@example.com or PO Box 2280, Pinedale, WY 82941.
Submitted by Kathleen Peterson with the Sage and Snow Garden Club