My winged visitors highlight an important reason to plant natives in your landscapes- to provide food sources for our native insects. As we use more and more cultivars (like the petunias on the left of the monarda) the options for native pollinators become slim which impacts the foodweb that relies on those insects. The diversity of insects can also be on your side when it comes to bad bugs.
Just last night, as I was with a group of community gardeners in SE Como brainstorming ideas for a rain garden at Como Corner Community Garden (a project sponsored by SECIA and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization) and one of the gardeners had a book in hand by Douglas W. Tallamy called "Bringing nature home". As we envisioned raingardens, cisterns, dry creek beds, the group also insisted upon native plants and "ugly bugs". The word is spreading about the important role these insects have in the greenspaces of our cities and suburbs. Something the Horton Park community gardeners would cheer on.