There is a movement underway that aims at making the gardens work more for the environment, making it cleaner, due to the increasing pollution making environment unsafe.
Because of global warming and habitat destruction, he said, “today, gardens need to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and manage water. It’s a lot to ask, but it doesn’t have to look messy and it may be the key to our survival.”
That led to a change in the way garden is treated, striving more to give it a more natural look and more concentration on drought-tolerant and wildlife-friendly plants.
“It’s one of the few things an individual can do to mitigate climate change. The cumulative impact on the environment is huge, plus it’s easy, affordable and fun,” said Ann Savageau, who ripped out most of her lawn in drought-parched Davis, Calif., a year ago and replanted with desert grasses and other native plants.
“The increase we’ve seen in pollinators, butterflies and birds at our house is really exciting, and we reduced our water usage by two thirds,” she said.
“Unless we share our space with nature, the plants on which bees, caterpillars, butterflies, birds and other wildlife depend will not survive,” Tallamy said.
According to the experts, native species mostly reside in gardens, which local wildlife depends on.
“Gardening for wildlife, especially birds, is really the hot thing now in horticulture and gardening. The trend is toward naturalistic garden design, with native plants. It’s a High Line kind of a look,” said Kristin Schleiter, associate vice-president for outdoor gardens and senior curator at the New York Botanical Garden.
The High Line, the New York City park and garden which runs along a strip of old elevated track, “does symbolize a newer esthetic in purposeful, naturalized gardening,” said Tom Smarr, its director of horticulture.
The High Line in New York. Mark Lennihan/AP
About half the plants are natives and the other half are self-seeded species, which require relatively little maintenance and water. “There’s way more forgiveness and durability about it,” he said.
“A lot of people have totally been inspired by the wild look and have tried it on their own at home,” Smarr said.
There are a few ways in which gardeners themselves can create a healthier environment whilst doing their daily activities. These include simple practices such as planting an oak tree, feeding the pollinators, decrease non-native, concrete and ornamental species, avoiding pesticides, and more.