No. 02 // Why Go Native?

Before moving to Michigan, we purchased our first home in Los Angeles.  A spanish-style fixer upper with good bones and a lot of potential.  The grassy yard was no exception. LA was going through a major drought at the time and our goal was to conserve water so we re-landscaped with a mix of natives and other drought tolerant plants with the help of Pia from Barefoot Landscape (

We were conserving water and saving money, though we were only just beginning to realize the benefits of our investment.  Soon we noticed a new energy in the yard - big fuzzy bumblebees buzzing around, hummingbirds and butterflies became regular visitors.  It was so cool to see this thriving natural habitat in our own front yard!  

Another benefit?  We bid farewell to the lawnmower and the weekly landscaping fees.  No love lost. The noise would regularly wake our napping daughter and the smell of exhaust from the mowers and blowers would almost always make its way through our open windows, covering our cars and outdoor furniture with a dusty veil. Now we were greeted with the amazing scent of the garden each time we opened a window.

We did a lot of work to that old house, making it our own. Though the very best thing we did was make the garden an inviting place not just for us but for our friends, family, neighbors and natural wildlife who came in and felt right at home.  Our daughter loved wandering through the garden as much as we did and the neighbors stopped by to admire the dynamic landscape.  

We visited that house a few weeks ago and the plants are healthy and thriving and looking even more beautiful than ever.  We also noticed several other yards had been transformed with natives and drought tolerant plants which made us smile.  The idea is catching on and for good reason.

So really the questions isn't, "why go native?" but rather, "why not?".  //

Vanessa Friedman