Hardy, Perennial ​Native Plants

Native plants grew in this area before the 1550s when Europeans brought other plants here. Over thousands of years, native insects evolved to subsist only on specific native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees.

For example, the once numerous monarch butterfly population has crashed during the past few years because of habitat loss and loss of its host plant–species of milkweeds. 

Photo on right: Asclepias incarnata –swamp milkweed – a central beauty of our garden on the Waltham Common,  Waltham, MA.

To learn about planting milkweed, check out these sites:

Meadows consist of hardy, drought-tolerant native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees that together provide healthy natural habitat (food and shelter) for wildlife such as bees, caterpillars, butterflies, and birds.

In the past, we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and manage water.”


Native meadows, with their permeable surfaces and deeply rooted plants, also absorb rainwater into groundwater. Thus, meadows are home to native species and help prevent toxic runoff flowing from roads, agricultural lands, and lawns from flooding homes, overwhelming wastewater systems, and polluting our streams, rivers, and oceans.

More resources:

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