Planting native species makes sense on so many levels~
1. They are SO EASY to grow~they belong there, so all you have to do is plant, sit back, & enjoy the show! (just check that they aren't potentially invasive weeds, such as Purple Loosestrife here in New England~technically a transplant from Europe)
2. They're easy on the environment because they require little, if any, watering; again due to their nativity to your area.
3. They give back to the environment, both through their decay into the soil, and...
4. Natural attractiveness to birds, bees & butterflies & other positive insect-life.
It's a no~brainer! Plant what is indigenous to your area, and know that you will be leaving the world a better place for your having been here.
I agree! And if you can't "go native" completely, at least keep in mind the needs of the plants in your area. Plant drought resistant near-natives in areas prone to drought. In my area, that means purple cone flower, butterfly weed, coreopsis (tick seed), blanket flower, and a host of other forbs whose relatives grow in undisturbed areas surrounding the city.
"4. Natural attractiveness to birds, bees & butterflies & other positive insect-life.
It's a no~brainer! Plant what is indigenous to your area, and know that you will be leaving the world a better place for your having been here."
It certainly is and I dearly wish more people would embrace this philosophy. I also hope that more big box stores begin to sell more natives going forward. I was very surprised and happy to actually see a true native azalea for sale at Lowes recently, so there's certainly hope. More small nurseries fortunately do provide almost any native you could want if you do your research. I purchase from about 5-6 on an annual basis when purchasing my natives.
The amount of beneficial native plants that can be used in pure landscaping alone is staggering. In the past 2-3 years I've transitioned to planting only natives almost exclusively. The only annuals that I do plant are not invasive, and tend to attract birds, bees and butterflies. Zinnias and sunflowers are 2 of my favorite non-native plants. Both need little to no maintenance as long as you have decent soil.