|Not much beats an indigenous Helichrysum for its spectacular beauty|
I agreed with much of what she said about the exotic vs indigenous argument:
- Many exotic plants use much less water than some indigenous plants.
- Just because a plant is exotic, doesn't mean that it is invasive or a pest, and in fact some indigenous plants can be hard to get rid of once they are established in your garden.
- Exotic plants are (generally speaking) prettier, with bigger, more abundant flowers.
But I think there was something that this plant enthusiast was missing about the ardour for indigenous plants...its more than just a superficial appreciation for the beauty of a plants flowers, its unique shape, or its interesting leaves. There is something 'true' about seeing a plant that is thriving in its rightful place. There is an undefinable feeling I get when I see a plant that fits in with its surrounding vegetation or environment. And while I agree that we need to be open-minded about our plant selection, in most cases an indigenous plant is the 'right fit'.
I walked away from our discussion with a better understanding of the exotic plant enthusiast, but I also left with a more firm love for indigenous plants.