Last winter I acquired a lot of seeds for eastern US native azaleas. I had to join 3 different azalea and native plant societies so I could buy from their members-only exchanges. It's tricky getting them started. You have to sow them on the surface of finely milled sphagnum moss, grow under lights, fight off fungal infections and eventually transplant the babies. The ones that survived I potted up and moved to the basement for the winter. They are growing like gangbusters. In May I'll move them to a protected spot under the apple tree for the summer.
I planted two catnip plants in the herb bed last spring. Cats having no ability to delay gratification promptly uprooted and ate them. I bought two more larger ones and the night before I entered the hospital for my knee replacement I planted them out. I figured that would give them two weeks to get established before the cats could get at them again. The catnip plants flourished and all summer I would find cats wallowing and nibbling.
I live and garden in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
In 2000 I bought a house on a very ordinary .4 acre subdivision lot. It was a demonstration project for landscaping mistakes that had had 30+ years to mature. I spent two years ripping out overgrown evergreens and since then have been replanting with flowering, fruiting things, many of them east coast native plants.
My interest in planting for wildlife began as an attempt to create an enriched environment for the cats but has developed into a belief that plants in the landscape should earn their keep by providing food or shelter for someone, man or beast.
These are several of the things that inspired me to reduce the size of my lawn and give more space to native trees and shrubs: