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Do you want to start growing native plants in your yard, but don’t know where to find them? Or maybe you aren’t even sure what a native plant is for your area. Or maybe you are in a situation where you can’t plant anything right now, but you still want to learn about native plants and enjoy them in the wild. Your state’s native plant society may be able to help you in all of these situations.
In this episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast, we’re joined by multiple guests representing native plant societies in different parts of the eastern U.S. Our guests are Randi Eckel from the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, Jeff Nelson from the Kentucky Native Plant Society, and Ellen Honeycutt from the Georgia Native Plant Society.
We start our conversation with what seems like a very basic question, “What is a native plant?” As you’ll hear, the answers were all similar in their broad sense, but some of the details were a little different. Which of course, led to a conversation about those slight variations in the definitions and why they are important to be aware of when you are talking about native plants.
We then dove into talking about native plant societies and what they do. Every native plant society is going to be different and do different things, but they all share a love of native plants, conservation, and education. They also tend to be very accessible and include members of all experience levels – from the person just getting started on their native plant journey all the way to professional botanists with decades of experience. Native plant societies also tend to have lots of educational resources available online for anyone interested in native plants.
I highly encourage you to check out your state’s native plant society. Links to the Georgia Native Plant Society, Kentucky Native Plant Society, and Native Plant Society of New Jersey are below. I also included a link from the American Horticultural Society’s website which lists information for each state’s native plant society.
On a side note, if you want to keep up with everything going on in the Backyard Ecology world, then please subscribe to our emails. You can do so at www.backyardecology.net/subscribe.
And when you sign up for our emails, you’ll receive a link to download a free e-book that explains why our familiar garden zones don’t mean anything when it comes to gardening with native plants. That’s just our way of saying thank you for your interest in Backyard Ecology.
Until next week, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy the nature in your own yard and community.
Georgia Native Plant Society:
Kentucky Native Plant Society:
Native Plant Society of New Jersey:
American Horticultural Society’s list of native plant societies:
Growing Native Plants, Insect-Plant Interactions, Playing in the Pond, and Much More with Dr. Randi Eckel: https://www.backyardecology.net/growing-native-plants-insect-plant-interactions-playing-in-the-pond-and-much-more-with-dr-randi-eckel/
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Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Photo credit: Shenandoah National Park, public domain
Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at www.backyardecology.net.