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My primary aim when selecting plants for a landscape is to create beautiful and unique gardens that are low maintenance, biodiverse, and provide ample food and habitat for a panoply of organisms. I believe that we should strive to dedicate fifty percent of project space to plants that attract pollinators, beneficial insects, and the soil microorganisms that sustain the local ecosystem. The “ripple effects” of these organisms are wide-ranging and awe-inspiring: did you know that caterpillars are the best food for birds, for they provide key nutrients that give birds their vibrant colors.

Identifying and selecting the right plants to attract caterpillars and other species is key to the health of our local bird populations, which, in turn, affects the wealth of life and beauty of our entire ecosystem. In addition to pollinator-friendly native plants, I believe there is also room for beautiful ornamental plants that provide the “wow” factor in creating a memorable outdoor space. These can be seamlessly integrated into native plantings and utilize the “living mulch” of tightly-spaced groundcovers to reduce the need for weeding, mulching, and fertilizers or pesticides.

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