Better Gardening through Science

Gardeners Learn How to Go Native

Janet D. Smith, Native Plant Expert

On Saturday, September 16, Kaufman County Master Gardeners held their fall seminar, ” Go Native: Save Nature in Your Yard.” Over thirty people learned about “Homegrown National Park,” a grassroots movement begun by Dr. Doug Tallamy and Michelle Alfandari. The focus is to “regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function” by planting native plants. 

Kaufman County Master Gardener Karel Holloway provided some background on the Homegrown National Park movement and showed the audience how they can enroll their yards. 

Keystone plants are the foundation upon which a revitalized ecosystem can be built. Kaufman County Master Gardener Rebecca Morrow discussed the role keystone plants and the insects they support play in maintaining, or re-creating, successful food webs. She also shared a number of landscaping tips to make any yard more attractive to birds, insects, and other wildlife.

Many gardeners struggle with what to plant to have blooms early and late in the year. so a highlight of the seminar was “Native Plants for Year-Round Bloom.”  Janet D. Smith, an acknowledged expert on native Texas plants provided the answer. Smith is a Dallas County Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. She is a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas and holds a Level IV certification in NPSOT’s Native Landscape Certification Program, which she coordinated for many years. 

For a limited time, the information presented at the seminar can be downloaded from our website. It won’t replace the  experience of  the seminar and the person-to-person interactions, but it does provide a good starting point for starting your own Homegrown National Park. 

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