Native Landscape Plants

Native Plants 
Our native plant gardens are starting to get green, and show promise of flowers that will support native pollinators and provide a show for the rest of us. Please consider helping get the gardens ready. Contact Ruth Caputo at 323-1538 (home) or She can use help pretty much any time you can fit it in.

This summer our native-plant gardens will be part of a tour of native plantings at five area churches. The tour will be Saturday, June 17 from 10am to 1pm and you are welcome to come to any or all of the tour. Contact Ruth for details.

Native Plants in our Parking Areas
Have you noticed flowers like purple coneflower between the upper parking lots? These are part of a multi-year project to convert the lawn between the upper parking lots into a native plant garden.  The strip of land under the sycamore trees was divided into 4 sections running from one tree to the next. The plan is to finish the garden in 4 years. Why so long? Well….

  1. The first year, a section is covered with leaves collected during fall clean-up. These leaves cover the grass and smother it. This way, no herbicides are used. The leaves also serve as mulch that protects young plants.
  2. After a year, the area is planted. Most plants are donated from a member’s native plant garden. Others are transplanted from other native plant gardens around the church. And some are purchased with donated funds. The area is tended to keep non-native plants out including any turf grass that comes up. More leaves are added for mulch as needed.
  3. After 2 to 3 years, a native plant garden requires little maintenance, watering only during drought conditions, and no fertilizer.

The sections are being planted over multiple years to reduce the cost and effort. There are only so many donated plants available, and so many volunteers willing to do the work. If you’re interested in helping with either or both of these, please contact Ruth at .

Why have native plants? Native plants are part of the plant communities here before the area was developed. They support wildlife, and contribute to a healthy environment. They require less maintenance (no burning of fossil fuels), little if any watering, and no pesticides. If you like birds and butterflies, you have a good reason to like native plants.

Chapel Hill UMC has made a commitment to consider using native plants as the occasion arises and to control non-native, invasive plants on its property. If you have any comments on this, please send them to John Ruhrup (Facilities; ) and Ruth Caputo (native plant and invasive plant person; ).