To that end, a group of landscapers created a free native-plant garden planner that has species lists tailored to 19 different US biomes.
Wild Ones, the company behind the app, believes in "environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities."
The ecoregions Wild Ones have tailored their app to can be found mostly by the major cities in the area, and include Boston, Chattanooga, Chicago, Columbia River Basin, Denver/Front Range, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Lafayette, Las Cruces, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Princeton, St. Louis, Tallahassee, Toledo, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.
A plant list accompanies each design and provides a quick preview of the diversity and beauty of the native plants incorporated in each design. Wild Ones ensured the plans are formatted for printers so that users can have the plan in their hands while walking through their gardens.
"We can no longer leave conservation to the conservationists," stresses Wild Ones Honorary Director Doug Tallamy. "We must now act collectively to put our ecosystems back together again."
So many of the most used and coveted ornamental plants were, centuries ago, brought to Europe from China and the rest of Asia. Those traditions were passed onto gardeners in the young US of A, along with species like the azalea and rhododendron, camellia, gardenia, hibiscus, peony, and chrysanthemum.
There are hundreds of attractive native ornamentals that will surTvive better, and attract more wildlife than these oriental species, it's just a matter of getting to know them.