ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Landscaping in Southeast Michigan With Native Plantings

Updated on January 16, 2015

Gardening For The Future

As we get older and decide to settle down, gardening tends to become more important in our daily lives. Creating beautiful landscapes to enjoy as we age is a very rewarding experience. Sustainable gardens will age with you and the required amount of work becomes easier as time goes by.

I imagine as I get older relaxing on the patio looking out at the soft, flowing grasses and wildflowers shimmering in the wind with a few majestic trees to complete the backdrop. The sounds of water gurgling and the intricate details of the pond environment surrounded by mosses and tiny plants filling my senses. I dream of the perfect natural environment for my yard. The golden prairie that fades into the bright greens of the wetlands. Spots of color popping out at you from every angle. Heaven on earth.

There is an easy formula for this type of environment. It starts with using native Michigan plants that thrive in their own ranges. It only makes sense to use plants that have co-adapted to the species surrounding it. There is a little struggle sometimes when creating a natural environment, however, once established, these plantings will generally take care of themselves.

Of course, we all enjoy many plants that are not from this area, but these can cause problems. Exotic plants only introduce toxins, outcompete natives, and limit the diversity of our habitats. The amount of work to grow these foreign plants can be extensive and if it becomes invasive, eradication efforts can be a difficult chore.

A healthy native garden requires less watering, less upkeep, attracts wildlife, and brings an actual natural environment to you right out your back door. These exercises in conservation ecology will help to get you started on a path to carefree landscaping.

The video below gives a great summary of why its so important to bring the natural environment back to Michigan.

Why Native Plants?

Planning and Preparation

Planning your particular yard can be done in a variety of ways but you should have a clear idea of the biggest projects. Recognizing what types of habitats that are in your yard currently will help with determining where to plant. An open area is perfect for restoring a tall-grass prairie environment. A filtered light space can be a great place to rebuild a Michigan savanna setting. If there is a lot of shade then consider installing a natural pond that will bring out the feel of a forested wetland.

Having all the types of habitats represented would be beautiful. Understanding what limits are in the landscape is more important however. Planting species in the wrong environment will produce less than stellar results. Preparing ahead of time will allow you to achieve your desired goals. Gradually creating a terrific space is the easier way to go, however doing large sections at a time permits the freedom to encourage more diversity in a quicker timeframe.

Eliminating the Undesirables

When beginning the process of building a fantastic garden, you must start with clearing the area of weeds. The definition of a weed is simply a plant that you do not want in your yard. In this case, the main goal is to get rid of invasive species in order to recreate a natural environment. If your knowledge of plants is limited, I would suggest starting with plants that you DO know about. An example might be dandelions. They are invasive (brought from Europe with the settlers) and most people can recognize them. Clear those out first (dig deep because of their long taproots) then figure out which plant might be your next victim. In some cases it may not be necessary to get rid of all the plants in an area. You may have some natives growing already. If you do want to start fresh, the best way is to dispose of all plants in your area by whatever means necessary. Spend some time digging through the soil to eliminate all roots. The more thorough you are will prevent these plants from returning and the less time you will have to spend on weeding down the road. Once that is completed, the planting process can commence.

Tips on Purchasing and Installing Native Plants

Doing a small amount of research before purchasing your plants can be extremely beneficial. You may want to consult a professional that has experience in natural landscapes, especially if working on a large area. This is important for establishing site specific species. There are many types that may grow only in your area and nowhere else in the world. If you really want to be a hero, planting these would be valuable additions.

Finding a nursery that provides a large number of indigenous species is key to getting the appropriate knowledge needed from experienced gardeners. Carry a notebook with you and jot down any additional facts that you might receive. Sometimes the tags on plants don't give all the required information. Additionally, researching each plant on the web can be a great resource. Although buying online might be easier, its important to be aware that the website might not be catering to your specific environment. Purchasing seeds if they are available could save you some money, but established plants will fill out quicker.

Getting acquainted with all these aspects of your native garden is vital. If done properly a beautiful landscape will emerge that will require little work. Spend some time learning about your plants. It can become very interesting and will be extremely rewarding when looking at all the connections nature provides. I hope you will come to enjoy it as much as I do.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)