Go Native With Your Garden
Pat Sziber

Are these warmer days making you think about adding some new plants to your landscaping? Are you having a hard time choosing among the tempting offerings in the catalogs you have spread before you? Do you wince when you scan through the pages and see that many nurseries are still offering invasive non-native plants such as burning bush, Japanese barberry and autumn olive—and many more—often with an icon indicating that they are "deer resistant?" Local nurseries often are no better.

With a bit of research and due diligence, it is possible to find sources of plants native to our own region, some of which are being overwhelmed in their wild habitat by invasive plants. The caveat is that native plants tend to be more attractive to deer than non-native ones and you may have to invest in deer protection strategies, such as fencing, netting and sprays or inter-planting with less tasty plants. But it’s worth the effort and you will be doing a good deed by helping to halt the loss of New Jersey’s biodiversity. And our native trees and shrubs are better providers of nutritional sustenance for birds than alien ones.

Some regional sources of native plants are:

Toadshade Wildflower Farm, Frenchtown, NJ
(includes planting guide for our area)

Earth First Native Plant Nursery and Gifts, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ
(list of bird and butterfly attracters)

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
(mail order seeds; spring and fall plant sales)

Native plant sale days (watch websites for sale days):

D&R Greenway Land Trust

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

For information on native plants:

PlantNative is dedicated to moving native plants and naturescaping into mainstream landscaping practices.(all-round resource for info specific to north and south NJ)

The Native Plant Society of NJ is a statewide non-profit organization founded for the appreciation, protection, and study of the native flora of New Jersey. (lists of native plants by County and deer-resistant species)

Information on invasive plants to avoid:

Invasive Plants of the Eastern United States: Identification and Control
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas




Suggestions to WCAS If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact either of the following:

Go to Washington Crossing Audubon Society Homepage Go to Conservation Webpage Go to Field Trips Webpage Go to Bird Checklist Webpage Go to Web Links Webpage Go to Officers and Board Webpage
Last revision: Saturday, February 14, 2009