Plants are not optional — we can't live without them. But we tend to take plants and their benefits for granted.

We all breathe, but who takes the time to think about where the oxygen was produced? Even farther from our consciousness? The primary role that plants play in the food chain.

Nearly every creature on the planet owes its existence to plants, the only organisms capable of capturing the sun’s energy and turning that energy into food for the rest of us. Because animals directly and indirectly depend on plants for their food, the diversity of animals is closely linked to the diversity of plants. When there are many species of plants, there are many species of animals.

If you want to create ecosystems with a diversity of animal species, we first have to encourage a healthy diversity of plants. It’s simple: By gardening with native plants — no matter where you live or how small or large your space is — you can help sustain wildlife.