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Natural LandSCAPES

Natural landscaping, also called native gardening, is the use of native plants including treesshrubsgroundcover, and grasses which are local to the geographic area of the garden. There are three key reasons to practice natural landscaping, as indicated below. St. James is blessed with beautiful landscapes and natural areas, however, we should all understand how to care and manage these for the long-term health of the larger ecosystem.

Do not assume your landscape management service company knows what is best. Generally, their practice seems to be focused on quantity, not quality. For instance, they may use the term; "organic". That does not always translate to "safe". Arsenic is a natural element and is organic, but it can kill. There's a reason they advise you to keep pets and children off the lawn after each application.

Please do your homework and use our "Resource" page.

Lawn irregation system

Use less water

Using water-saving techniques, including native plants, can save you money and diverts less water from our rivers, bays, and estuaries, which helps keep the environment healthy. It can also reduce water and wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water.

Lady weeding her garden

Less overall maintenance

Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns. Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion. The deep root systems of many native costal plants increase the soil's capacity to store water. Since native plants require less maintenance, you spend less time working and more time enjoying.

Planning board on landscaping

Healthier for all living things

Native plant communities create habitat which is necessary for wildlife and essential to sustaining biodiversity and resilient landscapes. As the foundation of healthy functioning ecosystems, native plant communities buffer the impacts of extreme weather events such as severe flooding and prolonged drought.

Gardening with Natives

Plants and animals evolved together over thousands of years, so it is not surprising that there are many complex plant/animal relationships. This process of interdependent evolution of two or more species is called coevolution. Non-natives do not have this relationship with local wildlife.

We recommend using the Garden Club of St. James as a tried-and-true resource. In addition, St. James Conservancy continues to collect data in support of creating a healthy landscape using native plants. Check out our growing list of resources related to native plants and transform your property into a more natural, healthy ecosystem. It's better for all living things and helps to offset what has been lost due to development.                     Our favorite gardening link: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/

 Check out these great resources:

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