Let Natives Be Natives – GardenRant

Let Natives Be Natives – GardenRant
Throughout all of the preceding month, I’ve been mulling over a symposium I attended at the University of Connecticut on October 3rd.  Titled the “UConn Native Plants and Pollinators Conference,” it unintentionally highlighted a fundamental disconnect at the heart of contemporary gardening. In the morning, the conference featured as a speaker Annie White, a landscape architect from Vermont who researched for her doctoral thesis the relative value to pollinators of species-type native plants versus “nativars,” cultivated selections or hybrids of native plants.  White found that sometimes, though not always, the species type plants were far more attractive to the pollinators.  I found that interesting. Even more interesting, though, was the reaction of an afternoon speaker, a representative of the University of Connecticut faculty.  Dr. Jessica Lubell of UConn’s Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture  began by attacking Annie White’s data, insisting that unnamed studies had found that … Read More