scattered clouds
humidity: 47%
wind: 9mph W
H 54 • L 53

Native Plants Teaching Garden

Click here to view an interactive map of the Native Plants Teaching Garden!

Plants that are natural to the area create attractive,
sustainable, and low maintenance landscapes. This demonstration garden highlights
native plants from southeastern North America, particularly emphasizing plant
species endemic to the humid subtropical climate of the Highland Rim,
Cumberland Plateau, Valley and Ridge, and Piedmont Upland physiographic regions
of northern Alabama. Our goal is to highlight the way plants, soil,
pollinators, and birds create distinct local communities and interact to form a
diverse, ecologically sustainable, and attractive landscape. Planting densely
and layering plants vertically (both above- and below ground), like a natural
meadow, allows the well-adapted native plants to fill all available
niches.  Once established, environmental
stress and competition are assets causing the garden to be resilient and

Here are some benefits of meadow-style plantings using
native plants:

  • lower water needs
  • higher tolerance of climate conditions
  • less need for extra maintenance (compared to non-native plants)
  • more resistance to pests and diseases
  • resistant to invasive species encroachment
  • a beneficial relationship feeding more species of local insects and birds
  • better stormwater filtration and toxin removal

The Native Plants Teaching Garden was made possible by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust.

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