When thinking about what to plant, consider that hundreds of the finest shade and ornamental species evolved right here in the American Northeast. They have survived thousands of years of climate extremes, they have reached equilibrium with their environment, and most of them learned long ago how to cope with native pests or they would not still be here.
This is truly organic!
Long Island natives are likely to thrive in your conditions with minimal attention after the first two or three years. They even provide the food and shelter local wildlife depends on.
When planting native, you avoid introducing invasive species like Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) or Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei). These were introduced to our local enviroment less than 70 years ago. These and other invasive species like it act as weeds, spreading aggressively at the cost of other common Long Island plants. Our native Euonymous does not threaten the harmony of our balanced, time-tested ecosystem.
If you’re aiming to design an attractive and varied native landscape here’s a “starter” list of native plants for Long Island.