An increasing number of Americans are discovering that traditional grass lawns are not actually the ideal yard. They are turning instead to native plant gardens. As a result, local wildlife is thriving.
“Mockingbird prefers American beauty berry to my feeder,” they wrote. “I love watching the birds scratching through the leaves and stems in my native garden – glad I leave them up for the winter AND waaaay more interesting to look at than turf.”
American beautyberry, also known as French mulberry, is a perennial shrub that yields clusters of glossy, iridescent-purple fruit. This fruit is an important food for many bird species, particularly the Northern Bobwhite, which has been in sharp population decline for the past 50 years due to habitat loss. White-tailed deer also feed on the foliage of the beautyberry.
All in all, those are a lot of benefits that this one simple plant brings to the local ecosystem, which a boring grass lawn definitely does not.
Other benefits of native plant gardens over grass lawns are that they are less maintenance, requiring less water and less use of polluting, gas-powered lawn equipment. They also create more food for pollinators, which in turn protect our food supply. Other alternatives to grass lawns include clover lawns and xeriscaping.
Other members of the subreddit were delighted by the video.
“This year ever single berry was eaten on our beauty berry. It’s a great addition to a wildlife friendly garden. I’m thinking about planting another one,” wrote one commenter.
“Looks like you need to plant more of those,” wrote another.
“I melt when I see a bird show any attention to a shrub or tree I’ve planted,” a third chimed in.
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