Grace Miller's Thoughts on Native Plantings for Wildlife

This is a letter from customer, friend and former employee Grace Miller to Donna on 6/20/16. It was written after reading a garden section from Tallahassee Democrat (June 17, 2015) which included 2 articles by Donna "Bring on the Birds: Native shrubs harbor bugs that provide primo protein for our feathered friends" and "Make a Splash with a Well-placed Birdbath". It also included an article entitled, "Coastal properties offer haven for birds" by Sheftall and Lovestrand.

Dear Donna,

Was it coincidence or a well-planned cohesion which brought together this collection of writings that point out a long overdue way of approaching landscaping practices? Together with your articles and the contribution of Will Sheftall and Erik Lovestrand we must also add Jody’s preceding article on the use of “American” plants.

I have thought about the use of home landscaping to create oases of livability for birds and other wildlife, even before I became acquainted with Native Nurseries’ life work to promote this concept. In the 1960s I submitted a college paper on this subject. However, at the time, I had no concept of native plants versus non-native plants.

The world of native plants did not become revealed to me until the very early 1980s when I was fortunate to discover you, Donna, Jody and Native Nurseries. By the 1990s, under that guidance and influence, my home garden had become a copious collection of native plants - trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals. I took delight in all of them and so did the attendant wildlife, down to the tiniest insect. As I walked through my property I would be acutely aware of the birdsong and the hum of pollinating insects. The gardens were alive with a very special music, a synergistic symphony - Earth Music.

The concept of the use of native plants to host insects to host birds and other wildlife is a valid and valuable idea. It is, in my opinion, the basis for all life, this ecological linkage.

— Grace Miller