If you plant it, they will come | Cape May


“If you plant it, they will come” was the name of a program recently presented in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Clubhouse in Smithville. The program focused on using native plants to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to our gardens. Choosing native plants also boosts bird populations and protects them from extinction.

In his first book, “Bringing Nature Home,” Douglas W. Tallamy explained the rationale for using native plants, a concept that is rapidly gaining momentum to increase biodiversity in our gardens. In his new book, ‘Nature’s Best Hope’, he outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Tallamy shows how homeowners around the world can turn their yards into “conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitat.”

This can be somewhat problematic for people who live under the jurisdiction of a homeowners association (HOA). Most HOAs were created decades ago to dictate a culture that would protect property values ​​– keeping neighborhoods clean with manicured, weeded landscapes with manicured lawns.

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Plants were considered decorations; they are decorations but not part of a living ecosystem. We need to educate each other about the many ecological roles our landscape must now play and how each landscape should be designed to support various food webs.

Although many of the Four Seasons plantings are non-native and generally do not support a diverse wildlife population, recently a parcel of land on Southampton Pond was converted to native plants. Shrubs such as pepper bush, spice bush, elderberry, highbush blueberry, ink holly, and trees like oriental persimmon, black cherry, sweet bay magnolia, and flowering dogwood welcome birds, butterflies and pollinators.

Individual residents have begun to incorporate native plants into their landscapes with the creation of corner gardens, container gardens, downspout rain gardens, small water gardens and plantings in their established mulch gardens/beds. Although homeowners are still under HOA guidelines, residents still have the opportunity to do something positive in the space they have. There are many at Four Seasons who join in the grassroots effort to share their space with nature.

Go Green Galloway is a voluntary organization dedicated to reducing Galloway’s carbon footprint by promoting energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and implementing sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at [email protected] or call Mary at 609-742-7076.

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