Get Wild, Go Native!
Native gardening is good for our air, our water, wildlife and us! Once established, native plants save time and money by reducing—sometimes eliminating—the need for fertilizers, pesticides, water and lawn maintenance equipment.
And, what's more, native gardening is easy to do, no matter where you live. In the videos below, gardeners from across the United States share how they've used native plants in their own yards to reduce storm water runoff, attract wildlife, help their gardens grow and much more.
How to build a rain garden in two days.
Michelle Kalantari shares how she transformed her yard.
Native plants provide beauty all year long.
Students help create and learn from a beautiful native garden.
Conservancy supporters in Arkansas build native memorial garden.
Conservancy's Doug Ladd talks with the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Conservancy Supporter Nancy Heiden talks about rain gardens.
Volunteer Andy Dail shares tips for a sustainable food garden.
Jeff Walk talks urban gardens and the importance of native plants.
Jeff Walk talks with Jim Runnion (Chicago Transit Authority) about rooftop gardens.
Jeff Walk talks with Julie Samuels (Openlands) about community gardens.
Join our "Go Native" group to learn all the ways you can "Get Wild" in your life.
Thinking about creating a rain garden in your yard?
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) The next time it rains, watch where the water in your yard goes and locate your rain garden in the path of the water flow.
2) Be sure to put your rain garden at least 10 feet away from the foundation of your home to avoid flooding your basement. And never put it directly over a septic system or underground utility or phone lines. Call before you dig to learn the location of those lines.
3) Use native plants when possible. They don't require fertilizers or pesticides, which can be harmful to many wildlife species. They have deep roots, so once established, they will require less watering. You'll spend less time and money to maintain the garden too.
4) Unleash your artistic side! Choose plants that provide a variety of colors and textures, as well as plants that bloom at different times of the year so there's always something beautiful or interesting to look at. Don't forget the native grasses and small shrubs if you have the space. Be sure the plants you choose can tolerate wet sites.
5) Start with one- or two-year old plants that have established roots so they don't get washed away in the first big rainstorm. You may want to add a 2-inch layer of mulch to keep the weeds down and hold in moisture so your plants get off to a good start.