Plant with nature in mind
Katydid eggs on river birch
Spicebush swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on spicebush
Spiny oak caterpillar
Oak trees host :>500
species of Lepidoptera
Our nursery has a special focus on plants that support wildlife and natural ecosystems in central Ohio. We also offer plants native slightly to our south that may be vital in our area as climate continues to shift, forcing species further north.
At L4WL, we don't use herbicides or pesticides, so some lucky customers may take home little stowaways, like the caterpillars pictured on this page. Since our goal is to connect habitat for native species, we celebrate these stowaways!
We reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible, and gratefully accept donated nursery pots and trays, plant stakes, fencing, native seedlings and native seeds of most types.
We're here to help you turn your yard, balcony, container garden, schoolyard, work landscape or roadside greenspace into a welcoming haven for wildlife.
Why Planting Natives is Important
Conserving and restoring habitat is especially critical to our native pollinators, local birds, and the more than 325 bird species that travel through Ohio each year along the Mississippi Flyway, starting in central Canada and stretching to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi Flyway is the name given to the route followed by birds migrating from their breeding grounds in North America to their wintering grounds in the south. Because urban sprawl and land development have fragmented natural habitat, resting places that provide food, water, shelter and safety are becoming increasingly critical for local wildlife.
Native pollinators may be our planet's most ecologically and economically important group of animals. They provide stability for every terrestrial ecosystem in the world, because wild flowering plants depend on these native bees, flies, butterflies, beetles, moths, bats, birds and other animals to reproduce. Other wildlife then eat the insects hosted by the plants, as well as the fruits and seeds that result from pollination, spreading the seeds that in turn give rise to future generations of plants. Most of the world's wildlife — and more than 250,000 wild flowering plants — need native pollinators to exist, and scientists estimate that 1 of every 3 bites of food we eat exists because of pollinators.
When growers tinker with plants and change the shape of flowers (think double blooms), this often lowers pollen and nectar production. If the shape of the flower is altered, pollinators that co-evolved their mouthparts to fit that plant's flowers, will no longer be able to access whatever pollen and nectar are left.
Native plants thrive in the soils, moisture and weather of our region. That means less supplemental watering, which can be wasteful, and less problematic pests that require toxic chemicals. Native plants also assist in managing rainwater runoff and maintain healthy soil as their root systems are deep and prevent soil compaction.
Don't have a space where you can garden for wildlife? Consider volunteering with groups of other volunteers who are stewards of local parks or other land.. If you are currently the steward of a piece of land, and could use volunteers, please reach out with your contact information. See our growing resource page to connect and volunteer with others involved in local restoration projects.