Despite a rich supply of native plants that are available to us, the same two or three dozen plants are used in the suburban landscape. That's a shame really. Native plants offer a number of benefits to any outdoor setting. They are considered low maintenance and save energy in care. Some offer shade from summer sun or a buffer from the winter wind. Others support mini-ecosystems, providing food and shelter for birds, butterflies and wildlife. As you continue to design your landscape, consider the many possibilities you have with native plants such as these mountain laurel.