What Is Native Gardening?
Native gardening (also called as Natural landscaping), is a form of landscape gardening, where the local, native, endemic plant species (of that particular geographic region) are used for garden development, rather than conventional ornamental plants. It is the use of native plants including trees, shrubs, ground cover & grasses which are endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
Ornamental Native Plants:
Every geographical zone has its native plants; the endemic plants that have been growing wild, naturally in the local forests for thousands of years. Among the vast number of native plant species, those with better ornamental property can be selected for various landscaping features like avenue trees, Shrubberies, Hedges, edges, ground covers, flower beds etc. Read about 10 tips to develop beautiful flower beds.
Native Plants Movement:
Native gardening is fast gaining popularity in many countries like US, Australia. Gardeners of these countries already have their focus & emphasis on the use of their native plants for landscaping projects. India has tremendous potential in exploring native flora for landscaping purpose. Read about top 10 tips for landscape gardening.
There are total seven biodiversity hotspots known in this world. 2 of them are present in India: The Himalayas & the Western Ghats. In that sense, India is blessed with strong biodiversity treasure & we have thousands of native plant species to select from. This is the reason why at Ugaoo.com we encourage the practice of Native Gardening in India.
Ornamental Native Plants in India:
Native Indian ornamental plants possess an aesthetic value of their own. Although it’s unfair to compare these plants with conventional ornamental plants; Even the native ornamental plants fulfil all the essential criteria for landscaping.
Following are some of the native ornamental plants in India
Native trees: Palash, Amaltash, Indian Coral tree, Sita Ashok, Indian cork tree, Neem, Peepal, Kadamba, Karanj.
Native shrubs: Kanchan, Shankasur, Ratrani, Mehendi, Gulmehndi, Kunti, Parijatak.
Native climbers: Clerodendron, Jai, Juhi, Krishna-Kamal, Green Champa
Native seasonal flowers: Utricularia, Balsam, Eriocaulon, Smithia, Vigna.
Similarly, there are native cacti & succulents, bulbous plants, Indoor plants etc.
The significance of Native gardening:
- Native gardens will provide the look of ‘Natural landscapes,’ a systematic growth of wild plants creating an urban green zone.
- Native gardening is a form of ecologically sustainable development.
- A native garden will naturally blend in with local biodiversity. It will be a paradise for local butterflies, birds & other small garden creatures that make the garden alive in a real sense.
- The native garden looks aesthetically appealing because of the use of naturalistic forms, colours & textures.
- Native gardens require very little or no maintenance. Native ornamental plants will survive well in less water; no fertilizers & most plants will not catch any major disease or pest.
- Native gardening will spread the message of nature conservation & will create the awareness among general public. It will educate people about the local flora & its importance.
- Almost all the plants used in native gardening have medicinal importance & are being used in traditional therapeutic systems like Ayurveda for thousands of years in India.
In India, Native gardening also includes concepts like Medicinal plants garden, Nakshatra Udyan (Astral garden), Bioaesthetic planning and so on.
If you plan to develop a new garden, we request you to Go, Native....Go Natural.....