Amy Dixon: Rethinking the Landscape with Native Plants |
“There are a lot of reasons people are going into it,” Helms said. “They’ve seen Doug’s work in other people, and they want to be okay with that. Some of them are just simply passionate about gardening and they have seen over the years that it is so, so they try to fit that into their landscape.
Elderberry Creek Farm and Nursery has been operating as a landscaping company since 2005, and opened as a retail nursery last July. They offer a wide selection of trees, shrubs, edible plants and perennials, with a particular focus on native plants. What makes Elderberry Creek unique is the established landscape that surrounds the nursery, which is a living example of the beauty and richness of native plants that can create a setting.
An established native persimmon shades the native plant section of the nursery, which was buzzing with bees the day I visited. A native butterfly garden is planted across the nursery, which will soon be full of summer colors. Mountain mint, baptisia, lemon balm, primrose, asters and Joe Pye weed are just a sample of what is planted there, which attracts a crowd of butterflies every season.
Along with the obvious benefits of using native plants, Helms pointed out how incorporating natives helps create a sense of belonging, making a garden unique at its roots.
“Something I talk about when I do seminars is a sense of belonging,” Helms said. “It would be nice if you went to different areas that had native plants and you got a feeling of ‘I’m in this place.’ But the landscapes now are the same here as in Raleigh, like in Maryland and Georgia. It would be nice to see a nod to the region you are in.