Native Wildflowers are the best choice for a rain garden.
Once thought of as weeds, wildflowers are now treasured for their grace and beauty.
Recently, lanscapers and homeowners have discovered the benefit of native wildflowers in their gardens, especially their rain gardens. No longer do they yank these benificial natives out of their rose beds and hedge rows, only to replace them with invasive and not-so hardy species from countries like Japan or Holland. Throughout the last decades people have struggled to grow these "exotics" outside of their normal habitat. They hauled in the "right" dirt, they used the "right" fertilizer, they yanked native wildflowers, they watered, watered, and watered some more, only to have half of them whither and die. And lawns, please don't get me started. Expert "gardeners" have taught homeowners to poison lawns with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, you name it. All these chemicals go in to maintaining a "biodiversity-free" lawn. As with the rain garden alternative why not try a
Where do you suppose all the chemicals for lawns and gardens go?
These chemicals seep into the groundwater below your feet or are simply washed away during seasonal rains. From your lawns and gardens these chemicals flow into the drains and enter the water cycle, which usually translates into being dumped into the closest stream or river. As we all know, all rivers flow into the ocean. One these chemcals enter the ocean they cause major changes in marine habitats and often promote algal blooms, which can have a devestating impact on marine wildlife of all kinds.
The Good Pay The Price
Not to mention that many of these pesticides kill off beneficial insects such as Ladybugs or Praying Mantis which dine on the not so nice bugs. And what happens when other species come to feast on these poisoned insects? The
passes up the food chain to some of our most cherished species (ie. the Bald Eagle, Homo sapiens).
Gardeners look for something better.
As more and more people began looking for simple, easily maintained gardens that will beautify their homes and allow them the time to enjoy without the constant fertilizing, weeding, poisoning, and watering they finally stumbled on the plants that were beneath their noses the whole time: natives. Native wildflowers are bringing people the freedom from gardening they've sought, but leaving their homes and landscapes a heaven of natural beauty and a haven for native wildlife, without the poisons that threaten ALL of us.
Wildflowers not weeds any more!
Rain gardens are a recent addition to the scene. They use native wildflowers in a whole new way. Native wildflowers capture the rain water that would normally form quagmires in our "lawns" and they drink it up over the ensuing months, even through terrible drought, thus no watering. Natives evolved their own natural resistance to native pests, thus no pesticide. They evolved to match the habitat that they are found in, thus no fertilizing or watering. Best of all they create habitat where there was none, encouraging other natives to join them. Imagine looking out your window and seeing dozens of butterflies, hummingbirds, song birds, pest eating frogs and toads, maybe even the occasional turtle or salamander.