I love the outdoors and all things planty and green. But I am a far cry from being in possession of a green thumb (it’s more like a black thumb of wilty death). I wouldn’t say I am a terrible plant owner, I am just forgetful when it comes to watering. I have managed to keep my dog watered for 5 years but she is much more in your face about needing water. Oddly this has worked in my benefit over the years. Yes I have killed a few plants along the way. And yes I feel terrible about it. But the ones I have managed to keep alive are low maintenance or Willamette valley natives that require very little coxing. So while the gardens around me bloom in bright vibrant colors, and mine blooms very little, I at least have the peace of mind that my garden is a tad bit smarter. I, unlike my neighbors, am not pouring chemical fertilizer over everything, spraying pesticides and wasting water. My plants like the soil, lack of summer water and changes in temperature. Native plants are a great way to fill a garden without a lot of cost or maintence. But these plants vary greatly be region, even between my house and my parents which is less than two hours away. So finding the plants that require little work and little poisons to yourself and the environment can take time. But they will be worth in the long run.
As for non native plants there are three types that I stick to pretty regularly. Lavender and Rosemary are both drought resistant, have great home benefits and can also be cooked with. Lavender also has the advantage of being a natural bug repellant to pests like aphids, fleas and ticks. Which is a great for us outdoors types that loathe the thought of covering our plants, and our pets with toxic chemicals.
Succulents on the other hand grow quickly and fill in spots in gardens with great texture. They are also drought resistant. Because they cover the ground so completely there are large portions of my garden I no longer have to weed. And if I want to plant something new, their shallow roots are easy to pull up and place in a new location. Easy-peasy.