Wildflowers, butterfly host plants, and hummingbird favorites are among the thousands of plants that will be available at The Native Plant Center’s 14th Annual Native Plant Sale on Saturday, April 27 at Westchester Community College in Valhalla. This year, the hours have been extended for greater shopping enjoyment. The sale opens to the public at 10:00 a.m. (Native Plant Center members may enter at 9:30 a.m.) and runs until 1:00 p.m. Admission to the sale is free.
“The event is more than a plant sale,” says Carol Capobianco, Director of The Native Plant Center (NPC) at Westchester Community College. “As you shop, speak with our knowledgeable staff and volunteers and learn about how the plants grow and the wildlife they attract. Seeing the plants in person will help you picture them in your own garden!”
Native plant specialists will be on hand to answer questions and assist gardeners in selecting the best options for their sites. With 3,000 plants and over 75 species offered, gardeners will feel like kids in a candy store. Among the plant selections:
- The Native Plant Center’s picks of 2013: Native Woody Plant of the Year, Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), one of the earliest small trees to bloom in spring with fruits favored by many bird species, and the Native Perennial of the Year, broad-leaved mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum), aromatic, resistant to deer, and a superior nectar plant for a variety of insects.
- Woodland plants such as wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), and more.
- Several cultivars of coral bells (Heuchera spp.) favored for its exquisite foliage.
- Native edibles such as the fun-looking prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa), lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), and highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).
Carolyn Summers, Plant Sale chairperson and author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East, urges visitors to make the connections between the plants in their gardens and the role they play in the environment. “Native plants form the basis of the food web for what’s left of wild nature,” Summers says.
As in past years, McCue Gardens of Wethersfield, Connecticut, will be present at the Plant Sale, offering a unique selection of their own delicate woodland plants.
The sale is located at Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, New York. Sale attendees should enter the East Grasslands Entrance and park in Lot #1. Volunteers are needed to prepare for the sale and to assist on sale day itself. Those interested in volunteering, or those seeking further information about the sale, should visit www.nativeplantcenter.org or call 914-606-7870.
The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The Native Plant Center maintains demonstration gardens and educates the public about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants through conferences, lectures, field trips, classes, and its Go Native U certificate program.