Stage 1 water conservation measures go into effect every year on May 1. Click here for details.
Native & Drought Tolerant Gardening
Gardening With Native and Drought Tolerant Plants
Native plants are those that are traditionally found in a specifc region and have not been introduced through recent horticultural activity. Native plants have adapted to their climate and hardiness zone over thousands of years. These plants are essential to local ecosystems and, when used by homeowners, can provide a relatively care-free, easy-to-maintain, beautiful wildlife haven. We only need take a walk in a local forest in spring to be awed by the fantastic variety of perennials in flower on the forest floor.
Why Use Native Plants?
If you are a lazy gardener, appreciate wildlife, want to conserve water or just like beautiful plants, then native plant gardening is for you. There are many benefits to gardening with native plants. Native plant gardens are:
- Low maintenance - once established native plants thrive with relatively little care. In fact, over tending to them can, in some cases, lead to their demise.
- Habitat for birds and other wildlife - certain native plants can attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies to your backyard.
- Water savers - after initial installation, native plants often require very little water. This saves water, money and time.
- Biodiverse - introduced species such as broom, ivy, holly (to name a few) take over non cultivated or disturned areas and often hinder the growth of native plants thereby reducing the abundance of plant types in the affected area.
- Aesthetically pleasing - native plants such as flowering red currant, bleeding hearts, vanilla leaf, camas, sword ferns and lilies are a beautiful addition to any yard.
- Unique - native plant gardening is gaining popularity on Vancouver Island. Start the trend in your neighbourhood. Watch as neighbours stop when waking by your garden to admire your native plants. And don't be scared to experiment - adding natives to your existing landscape can improve interest!
Tips and Hints
- The Garry Oak Gardener's Handbook
- Native Plant Society of British Columbia
- E-Flora BC
- Invasive Species Council of BC - Grow Me Instead Brochure
Saanich Native Plants
741 Haliburton Rd, Victoria BC
Streamside Native Plants
7455 Island Hwy W, Bowser, BC V0R 1G0
2205 Phipps Road #1, Duncan