Saw this floating around on Facebook today, and it gave me this idea for a post. Why native plants? Garden centers are full of exotic plants from Europe, Asia, and the like- but what about the plants that have grown here for decades? They tend to get overlooked. Here in the northeast plants with big, beautiful blooms are not always an option. Why? It takes a lot of energy for a plant to develop and sustain a bloom of such size and color- the time that takes is not possible here. In the northeast, and over much of the US our native trees, shrubs, and perennials often have a smaller flower that seems like it would pack less of a punch in a home garden. So they tend to get passed over in favor of hybrids, and new bright species that are cultivated in labs (*cough*Proven Winners*cough*). What does this effect? EVERYTHING around your garden; from the insects to the birds, everything is effected. So now you’re thinking, well I don’t want insects anyway, right? But who do you think pollinates your flowers, and your vegetables? Insects. Bees. (Which are declining in population…) Added bonus: native species often attract butterflies and songbirds. So just because YOU think milkweed looks like a weed, doesn’t mean the butterfly agrees with you. Many garden centers are now carrying a wider variety of native plants, I certainly think many of them are worth a second glance.