Skip the Skip Laurel, Say No to Nandina: Choose NATIVE
If your exotic evergreens are “ever-brown” from the recent freeze, now is an ideal time to upgrade to natives.
It doesn’t make sense to simply plant more of the same: the same non-native foundation shrubs that are anything but foundational to our ecosystem. Schip laurel, boxwood, nandina, Chinese holly, euonymus, false cypress, red-tips, cryptomeria, and so forth: all are plants that evolved with creatures and conditions on different continents.
What we need in Tennessee are more shrubs that evolved nearby. Native shrubs can be more likely to survive extreme weather, year-round. And most importantly, natives are the only sustainable choice: they contribute to local foodwebs in countless, critical ways that non-native plants cannot.
But, which native shrubs give us the color, texture, and size we want, while giving birds, bees, and butterflies what they need?
When a climbing vine casts its tip out and out but finds nothing to grab, it will curve round and grab itself.
That’s what’s happened here. You can see the loop at the bottom of the photo, and how it continues as a younger, greener “switchback” still counter-clockwising up its earlier self.
The vine’s goal is to aim for sunlight by the most expedient means, which in this case is its own body. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: milkweed vine”→