Tips for Native Gardening

June 20, 2023

By Liz Vogel

I read an article the other day on being OK with gardening failure—as in shrugging it off when your garden doesn’t respond the way you would like. When the balance you have worked to secure in place goes awry, and your new plant seizes on the opportunity of open soil or becomes overwhelmed by aphids. To this I say: There may be a better way.

A simple shift in how we plant and tend our gardens can allow for less fretting. After all, a garden is intended to make us happy. You may need to take a more spontaneous approach. One where you allow your plants to move and shift. One that is just as much about process as it is about flower color and form, counting all the garden visitors as part of that composition as they introduce an eye-popping bit of nature and spectacle. When was the last time you saw hummingbirds in your garden?

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (aromatic aster) with Carex brevior (plains oval sedge). Photo by Liz Vogel.

Consider some of these guidelines that are sure to bring you joy when planning a new garden or reworking an existing one:

Liz is a professional horticulturist, observer, artist and writer, and co-owner of North Branch Natives, an education-focused native plant nursery.