11 Native Plants

Herbs, wildflowers and ornamental grasses.

From The Herb Companion

By Kathleen Halloran

When I discover an undemanding plant that thrives in my toughest garden spots, I’m usually not surprised to learn how it comes by its easygoing nature: It’s a native.

Many native plants are tough, drought-tolerant, heat-resistant, cold-tolerant and low-maintenance - qualities that make them perfect for that patch of horticultural challenge known as The Hell Strip. That’s the epithet given to the long, narrow strip sandwiched between the street and the sidewalk, usually a rectangle of grass or weeds. Subject to all manner of abuse, these neglected strips are hot and dry in summers, not only because they’re in full sun, but also because they pick up reflected heat from both sides.

Our low-growing, native plant garden strip combines native herbs, wildflowers and ornamental native grasses for a tough but beautiful tapestry of color and texture. Once established, it will be more drought-tolerant than the turf grass it replaced. As a bonus, the variety of native plants attracts more butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds and other native wildlife than a boring strip of grass.

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.