Annual Native Plant Sale a Success

The Native Plant Center (NPC) celebrated their 19th annual plant sale this past Saturday on April 28 between 10am to 1pm. Many different species of northeastern native plants were available for purchase by the public to enhance their garden.

On April 25, during common hour, the NPC held a volunteer opportunity to help prepare for the sale. Despite the rainy weather, all the plants were watered, tagged, and ready to be sold.

There was a large turnout with many people scrambling to fill up their wagons and wheelbarrows with strawberry flowers and blueberry bushes. Children enjoyed their time there as well, picking out little potted plants of their own.

The NPC is passionate about educating people on the conservation of native plants and landscapes. The native plants that were being sold were an example of what will be seen in the center’s New American Cottage Garden.

“Native plants are the Swiss Army knife of the plant world,” said Carol Capobianco, Director of the Native Plant Center. “The plants are great for wildlife and diversifying any landscape—they create a sense of place.”

In June, The Native Plant Center will celebrate their 20th anniversary and officially open their New American Cottage Garden on June 3.

60 volunteers were on hand to organize purchased plants for inspection, assist customers with finding their desired plant, and answer any questions one would have about taking care of their native plant.  

Conserving natural resources includes wildlife for benefit of our future generations. For example monarch butterflies are facing “quasi-extinction,” which means the population has decreased.

“The Monarch depend on the milkweed plant that is a host plant for their caterpillars and we sell hundreds of them each year,” Capobianco said. “All of which were completely sold out from people buying in bulk; one group buying close to 60—people understand the problem and want to help.”

There are several different species of milkweed, including butterfly and swamp milkweed.

“It’s very encouraging when more and more people each year understand about native plants,” Capobianco said. “We call them ecological gardeners—gardeners who get it.”

The NPC stresses how easy it is to get started and contribute to creating a healthier planet.

“If you are starting out, start small,” Capobianco said. “Take out invasive plants, like weeds, that bully and take over other plants. Creating bigger garden beds and expanding them each year—after seeing the beauty the plants give and the benefits they bring, people start getting the fever.”

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