Recently the local government where I live decided to make planting invasive species on lakefront property (Lake George, NY) a punishable offense. A $5000 fine might be levied, or up to 15 days in jail! This is exciting news for those of us in the ecological community. We’ve been proselytizing about the ecological benefits of using native plants in the landscape for years now. We have been wildlife advocates, imploring people to consider the birds and butterflies when they’re planting. Many native species plants can offer the native wildlife food and shelter. Invasive, exotic species (like Purple Loosestrife or Japanese Knotweed) spread like biblical locusts, stealing habitat as they fill up every free space, giving nothing back and then, are impossible to remove. There are some exotic species, of course, that don’t behave like this. I’ve mentioned Dahlias in this space before. And Daffodils are often highlighted as an exotic species that’s, “naturalized.” It is my own, and many other ecological gardener’s opinions that using native plants in landscape design is best, and use of non-invasive exotics can be done sparingly. Either way, it is a beautiful development that native plants will be utilized more in gardens near me.