There exists an intricate web of life in nature, a delicate balance and co-existence of plants and wildlife. Over time, a harmonious natural rhythm has evolved where each species is highly dependent on others; where birds feed on seeds and berries that almost magically appear at precisely the right time. This biological balance, however, is constantly in jeopardy as more natural space vanishes and non-native plants are introduced while native ones are removed.

Using a most simplified example, the removal of a native plant could result in the unintended removal of the insect that feeds on the plant, which in turn, would result in the removal of a bird that feeds on that insect. In essence, the removal of a native species from the landscape can throw off the balance of the entire ecosystem.

The introduction of non-native species also has the potential to bring about unintended results. One of the most well-known and dramatic examples of one such occurrence was the introduction of rabbits to Australia. From the introduction of a mere 2 dozen wild rabbits, the rabbit population expanded to over 10 billion within 70 years and spread across the entire continent leading directly to the extinction of several species. While the removal of native plants or the introduction of non-native species to your backyard garden most likely will not have such a massive impact, there very well could be unintended consequences.

When planning your landscaping, consider the big picture. There are many benefits to incorporating plants indigenous to your region. Aside from gaining a better understanding of your natural region, a healthy and balanced ecosystem naturally cleans the water and air. If that is not reason enough, consider the fact that native plants are, in most cases, significantly easier to grow because they are already acclimated to the climate and to the soil.