Ideas for Naturalizing Areas In Your Yard

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There are many reasons for naturalizing an area in your yard. First it is important to understand what naturalizing is. The basic concept is to plant an area with native plants so as to bring it back to its natural state. There are many variations of this that I have seen such as seeding an area with wildflower seed and letting it go or planting individual plants and allowing them to grow and spread out and fill in an area. A naturalized area can be kept neat and weeded or just let go. I prefer the former.

I just completed a landscaping job that covered a very large area. If the entire area was going to become a cultivated landscape, it would require many, many hours of maintenance. So, my design included some naturalized areas for the shade and a naturalized area for the sun.

In the shaded area, I used Macho Fern (Nephrolepis biserrata) and planted them about 4 feet apart. They will grow in so that they are a blanket of ferns. Until that point we will keep the area weeded so the ferns can take over.

The sunny area I planted Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) which is a native grass that likes to be in the sun. This grass will get to be about 3' tall and has beautiful pink flower heads starting in the fall.

Naturalizing an area in your yard can give a beautiful contrast to the more manicured areas of your landscape.

Newly planted Macho Ferns under some Australian Tree Fern.

Newly planted Macho Ferns under some Australian Tree Fern.