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Good Question: Could what I plant in my yard be harmful to the environment?

This time of year many of us spend hours planting and tending to our yards, but knowing what to plant and what not to is key.

Good Question: Could what I plant in my yard be harmful to the environment?

Mary Carol Cooper spends her days nurturing plants.

So how does Mary's garden grow?

It does so full of plants native to Kentucky.

"Native plants have been here before the Mayflower came over," said Mary Carol Cooper, the coordinator of Native Plants at Salato Wildlife Center.

Plants like smooth beards tongue, primrose and golden rod are all common to the bluegrass.

Cooper is in charge of Native Plants at the Salato Wildlife Center in Frankfort

It is her hope that everyone would choose these types of plants to make their own gardens grow.

"When you plant native plants they have a control they will be here, these gardens will be here when we've gone through a terrible drought," said Cooper.

Cooper doesn't dismiss some of the brilliant and vibrant choices of the season like petunias, she does dismiss exotic invasive plants.

In simple terms, she's talking about non native plants that tend to spread out of control.

"I know everyone from Lexington knows what New Circle Road looks like with the bush honeysuckle. That was brought in as an ornamental and then just took off," said Cooper.

Cooper says being educated on what you should and shouldn't grow is the first step to being a smart gardener not only creating beauty but also contributing to the bio diversity of Kentucky wildlife.

Two native plant seminars will be held in June at the Salato Wildlife Center.

http://www.kdfwr.state.ky.us


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