By Gina Thompson
Want a full and vegetative yard but don’t know where to start? Choose native plants. These plants have evolved to withstand the weather and climate conditions of the land.
Using native plants can also make landscape maintenance easier. Regular rain conditions will take over the work of watering, and in short periods of drought, the plants can survive.
Living in a humid subtropical climate, expect normal rain conditions throughout the year. A rain garden styled with native plants can be cost-efficient to deal with stormwater runoff.
Here are a few tips and plants to consider when planning your outdoor space.
Consider soft mulch like shredded bark and pine needles when covering the landscape. Winds and storms will kick up gravel, but since these mulches are softer, they will not cause any damage.
And don’t worry about oversaturation when it storms. One of the benefits of native plants is that they have deeper root systems than their non-native counterparts, so they’re good at preventing erosion.
Native Georgia plants for ground cover include:
- Heartleaf ginger
- Shuttleworth ginger
When it comes to shrubs, make sure you plant them where they will get a lot of sun. Once you find the right spot, you can arrange the shrubs near the home’s foundation or use a natural fence for pathways or enclosures.
There are many different types of shrubs with varying blooms, leaf types, and sizes. You can search through Georgia natives here.
- The sweet pepperbush can get quite large and adapts to the weather well. This shrub likes wet soil and is perfect for a rain garden shrub.
- Common juniper is an evergreen shrub found all over the world.
- Buckeye shrubs come in various colors, including red and white.
- Needle palm trees are another native shrub species that are slow-growing and add a tropical vibe to any space.
Every yard needs a tree and luckily, once roots get a good hold in the ground, native trees are low-maintenance. Trees add opportunities for shade and can help you cut back on your energy bill. Their shade will act as a protective barrier for your home against the heat of the sun.
- Add color to your yard with a maple tree. The southern sugar maple has beautiful yellow-golden leaves while the scarlet maple is a deep crimson shade. And you can never go wrong with the big, green leaves of the black and striped maple.
- Another good shade tree that likes moist soil but is drought tolerant is the Kentucky yellowwood.
- The beautiful white blooms of the dogwood are a gorgeous addition to any yard. People are invited to Georgia each year for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival to see the springtime blooms.
Want to add some fun to your landscape? An easy fruit tree native to North America is the American persimmon. The small fruit adds a bright orange color to your yard and has a sweet flavor when ripe –– perfect for eating or baking with.
A Beautiful Yard Doesn’t Have to be Hard
Creating a beautiful yard does not have to be difficult. Native plants are already acclimated to the land your house sits on, which makes them easier to maintain than other plants. Native plants also provide a unique style that can up the price of your property, depending on the renovations you make to create the native plant yard of your dreams.
Gina Thompson is an experienced multimedia journalist, producer, and content writer born and raised in Texas. In her spare time, she loves catching a live band, dancing, and finding the next big taco spot. As a writer, she is passionate about making a positive impact on her community by elevating the voices and stories that need to be heard.