shooting star flower

Top 10 Native Plants

Easy to care for and beautiful too

Learn More
Sedum in a container


Native plant can thrive in containers, perfect for decks or small spaces

Learn More
Swallowtail Butterfly

Butterfly Gardening

Attract butterflies by planting native species

Learn More
Oak Leaves

Oak Leaves

Use your oak leaves to create wildflower spaces

Learn More

More Resources & Projects

There is an endless number of projects that you can undertake to make your yard and garden more environmentally friendly, attract wildlife, and be beautiful at the same time. Here are some links to other sites with comprehensive information on projects for your home for attracting wildlife, saving water, and gardening in Garry Oak meadows. All links open in a new tab or window.


Read more: More Resources & Projects

Native Plant Table

Below is a chart of some good native plant choices for gardens on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Soil and sun preferences for plants are indicated, as are their benefits to your garden and wildlife. This table is also a part of HAT's Gardening with Native Plants guide. Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.



Garden Design

Choose the right plant for the right spot. Your site may have sunny dry areas, shady moist places, or a combination of both. Watch how water flows and how the sun moves across the sky, during all seasons. Choose plants that will grow only to the height you require, and make sure there is room to grow. Taller plants and soil mounds can enhance your site by creating a diversity of living conditions or microclimates.


Read more: Garden Design

Gardening tips for Nature Lovers

The Three Essentials: food, shelter and water. Seed- and berry-producing shrubs feed and shelter birds. Provide a variety of food sources through the seasons by leaving seed heads on plants. A water feature (protected from cats and hawks) will attract many types of birds and animals.

duskywing onionButterflies Boycott Pesticides.Feeding adults prefer certain plant species, but missing plants for caterpillars often restricts butterfly abundance. Plant poplar and willow, maintain areas of natural meadow, create a mud puddle, and tolerate some chewed leaves. Swallowtail caterpillars eat herbs with umbrella-like flowers including Spring Gold, Lomatiums, & Cow Parsnip. Some butterflies overwinter in the leaf litter that renews the soil. Plant tall sticks in sunny quiet spots for butterflies and dragonflies to rest. 


Read more: Gardening tips for Nature Lovers

Top 10 Native Plants

Just getting started? HAT’s Top Ten plant picks are beautiful, hardy, and readily available. Start small. Establish these plants in your garden during the fall rains to get a jump on the summer dry season.


ocean spray SM

This beautiful shrub thrives in poor soils, drought, and salt spray. Plant it on a dry slope to prevent erosion and attract seed-eating birds. Lorquin’s admiral loves the creamy flower tufts that become orangebrown seed heads in winter.

bl stonecrop

A low groundcover for hot & sunny rock gardens, containers and garden borders. Edible, succulent leaves range from sage green to red. A hardy perennial, this plant’s showy yellow flowers are a magnet for pollinators and hummingbirds

 sword fern

Attractive copper-colored fiddleheads in spring unfurl into tough, waist-high evergreen fronds. This hardy perennial complements finer foliage of groundcovers in partial sun to shade. Other good native fern choices include Deer Fern and Licorice Fern.

 Red Fl Currant

Hummingbirds feed from brilliant pink to red blooms in the spring, and other birds enjoy currants in the fall. A showy specimen plant or massed in the back border, this shrub is a gardeners favorite.

 False lilly of the valley

Low, shade-loving groundcover features small, white, perfumed flowers and creeping rhizomes. Greenish berries turn red in winter. Drifts of shiny spade-shaped leaves look great with strawberry, sword fern and bleeding heart. Grows under cedar too.

 oregon grape tall flowering

Blue edible berries, big yellow blooms, and shiny leaves in one drought-tolerant perennial! Plant several behind low shrubs, around foundations, and in thickets. Spiny leaves, creeping rhizomes and upright habit creates a people barrier or evergreen hedge.

 Rky Mtn Juniper

Tough evergreen shrub or tree replaces a thirsty cedar hedge and can be planted on top of berms. Excellent year-round privacy screen, food and cover for birds. Long-lived and aromatic, native junipers also come in creeping forms.

 nodding onion bomus July 20 2007 027

A drift of this long-lasting lily lures pollinators and butterflies for months. Handles salt spray, wind, drought & poor, gravelly soils. Best for dry open woods, exposed sandy meadows and rock gardens where it spreads quickly.

 wooly sunflower

Bees and butterflies will party around showy drifts of intense yellow that lasts all summer. Perennial with light green, velvety foliage enjoys dry shallow soils and looks great in banks, rockeries, and borders.


An early blooming, trailing evergreen ground cover with red berries in winter for birds. Best for pavement edges & dry, sunny slopes. Creeping branches cover walls and tolerate foot traffic. A caterpillar host and hummingbird feeder, this plant dresses up any site.


Login Form