My journey towards working with, advocating for and loving native plants started with a desire to grow my own food and medicinal herbs.
I grew up in a small agrarian community in Western Massachusetts with a father who always had a large vegetable and flower garden and a few cows, goats and chickens too. Like many children I was itching to leave this small town and get to the city to pursue what I then thought would be my career. After nearly ten years living in New York City my husband and I decided it was time to get out and get back to a simpler way of living. We wanted to live closer to the land and give back to the environment and decided to take up learning how to successfully grow our own produce and medicinal herbs. We both studied permaculture design and spent around two years working on farms and ecological gardens.
After this learning emersion and self-exploration we needed to get real jobs again. My husband went back to full time graphic design work and I got a job as a landscaper for a Landscape Designer who specialized in native plants and edible gardens. When I initially took the job I was mainly interested in the edible side of the work, but quickly saw the virtues of designing with native plants.
It was like a lightbulb went off and I saw this profound impact that designing with native plant communities has on the planet and for our souls. Natives became the real food I was looking for. They are the epitome of natural beauty and have the capacity to re-create my favorite experience, walking through a forest, that draws me closer to a sense of feeling at home and truly connected to the world around me.
Native Plants do it ALL:
- Support Biodiversity and man's capacity to live on this planet
- Restore and Protect disturbed land, creating healthier environments for humans
- Provide habitat and food for native bees, butterflies, birds, reptiles and mammals
- Require less water, less maintenance, no chemical fertilizers
- Offer medicinal and food sources for humans and wildlife
- Keep us connected to the open, undisturbed land around us which is rare and precious