The perfect backyard, with green lawn and manicured yard, is as American as baseball and apple pie — but that doesn’t mean it’s good for the country.
Lawns and gardens with non-native plants, flowers, and grasses require a lot of water and fertilizer to maintain. In drier areas of the country, lawn care can consume three-quarters of a household’s annual water use, and the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to half of the water used outdoors for activities like lawn care is wasted through evaporation and runoff. Meanwhile, fertilizers and weed killers used to maintain non-native lawns can contain harmful chemicals that run off into larger bodies of water, contaminating local ecosystems and drinking water.
Many gardeners have turned to native gardening, a technique that incorporates plant species that occur naturally in an ecosystem, to make America’s lawn and garden greener. These plants then provide food for local wildlife, including butterflies, birds and other animals native to a region. Pollinating insects, bees and butterflies help the plants we eat bear fruits and vegetables, bringing another benefit to humans.
Native gardening reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, uses less water and promotes biodiversity. Especially for states that regularly experience moderate to severe droughts, containing water by gardening with native plants can more easily contribute to a healthier environment. Homegrown gardening also requires less maintenance: homeowners don’t have to spend as much time and money mowing, weeding, fertilizing, watering, and maintaining lawn equipment.
For those interested in incorporating native grasses and plants into their garden, Texas real estate source has compiled a list of wildflowers native to various US regions Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. All of the flowers on this list have bloom periods between August and December and are native to one of these six regions of the US: Central Texas, Eastern Woodland, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwestern Desert, and Tallgrass Prairie. The flowers are grouped by region and the regions are displayed in alphabetical order.