Meet “Homegrown National Park,” an effort to encourage Americans to plant as many native plants as possible everywhere on their property to help bring back the continent’s biodiversity

Meet the Ecologist Who Wants You to Unleash the Wild on Your Backyard

Fed up with invasive species and sterile landscapes, Douglas Tallamy urges Americans to go native and go natural

The land is ten gently sloping acres in rural southeastern Pennsylvania, at one time mowed for hay, with a handsome farmhouse that Douglas Tallamy bought around 20 years ago. It isn’t much to look at, by the standards most Americans apply to landscaping—no expansive views across swaths of lawn set off by flowerbeds and specimen trees—but, as Tallamy says, “We’re tucked away here where no one can see us, so we can do pretty much what we want.” And what he wants is for this property to be a model for the rest of the country, by which he means suburbs, exurbs, uninhabited woods, highway margins, city parks, streets and backyards… Continue Reading (16 minute read)

5 thoughts on “Meet “Homegrown National Park,” an effort to encourage Americans to plant as many native plants as possible everywhere on their property to help bring back the continent’s biodiversity”

  1. Pixieled

    TLDR: The easiest gardens to tend are the ones hosting plants that literally evolved to be there. They are diverse, beautiful, and beneficial.

    I work for an *incredible* family owned and operated garden center. People come from all over my state to visit us, and for good reason; we have experts to help you in annuals, perennials, trees, houseplants… If we have it, we have someone who knows a lot about it. I was hired thanks to my plant knowledge and my eye for design. At the request of customers (after advising people they often glaze over and ask “can you just come to my house and let me pay you to know stuff? Please?!” Yes. Yes I can), I have taken to freelancing landscape design and I put SO MANY NATIVE PLANTS in all my designs.

    Not only do these designs look good, they are so much easier to tend (“low maintenance” is probably my most common request). You don’t need to amend the soil as much (if at all), they attract native beneficial insects (which will help you reduce pesticide use) and they literally want to be in the environments where I place them, so you don’t need to water them much or fertilize much either. They are less likely to die from poor conditions and they tend to fill in much better too. It’s a win for everyone.

  2. PearlLakes

    In a severely divided country, I feel like this is an effort everyone could get behind.

  3. ChetRipley

    I am a huge fan of people ditching their lawns in favor of native plants. I get wanting a space to play games and such with your shoes off but there should be a limit. All the chemicals, fuel, fertilizer, and water used on American lawns each year is astronomical.

  4. SkyPork

    “Uh, no no NO, NO, *NO!”*

    \– Every single HOA in the US

  5. Ih8myselfabunch

    My wife and I have done this with our back yard for years. The wildlife is amazing and it makes for happy mornings on the screened in back porch with some coffee.

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