I believe the key to making native plant gardens more common is to create them using Piet Oudolf’s popular design aesthetic. Oudolf, and fellow designers of the ‘New Perennials’ movement, already use many North American native plants in their gardens. For an introduction to this garden design style, visit The New Perennialist’s two-part article Wild-ish at Heart: Naturalistic Garden Design.
I adore plantings by Oudolf, which include the famous High Line in New York, Lurie Garden in Chicago, Hauser and Wirth’s Oudolf Field in Somerset, and so on. I look at pictures of these gardens for inspiration and for specific plant combination ideas. I must admit that I have outright copied plant combos, or substituted with similar-looking plants.
My pollinator garden plan was also inspired by the hot colours combined with blue and white in Adam Woodruff’s Jones Road garden. You can view Woodruff’s Flickr albums of his stunning garden from Fall ’12, and Summer ’13.
One of my favourite books for finding naturalistic planting inspiration is the book Planting: A New Perspective, by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury. It’s available at the Ottawa Public Library.