For many landscape architects it's difficult to limit themselves to the native plants and trees while choosing the plant palette for a project. Reasons are varied and range from Client demands, peer pressure, lack of knowledge or sheer ignorance. Recently I had an argument with a landscape architect on the difference between 'readily available plants' and native species. I don't think any qualified landscape architect is that dumb. It was pure ignorance; and it is one of the biggest reasons we continue to see beautiful but high maintenance plants in areas where they don't belong.
What's so special about native plants? Let's look at some of the important factors:
An architect once told me that he understands the 'green' thing but what if none of the native plants are good looking? Should he spoil the look of his project by going green and planting 'ugly' native trees?
Well...who said native trees are not beautiful? Anything with a purpose is beautiful and native trees have a role to play in the local eco-system. Take a look again and you'll see the beauty.