FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- One of the great ironies of native plants is how hard they can be to find. You would think that endemic plants would be sold at most nurseries and garden centers.
While it is getting easier to track down regional native plants, it is still a challenge. Fortunately, the spring season brings a number of plant sales that specialize in native species or have a selection of natives.
Check out these regional plant sales – and don’t be afraid to travel, many of the same plants are native to all of these states. Just make sure to choose plants that are appropriate for your area and your landscape conditions.
April 30 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (all natives), The Native Plant Center , Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595
April 30 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (some natives), Manhattan Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society , El Sol Brillante Community Garden at 522- 528 E. 12th St. (between Avenues A & B)
May 5 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (some natives), Brooklyn Botanic Garden , 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn
May 21 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (all natives), Hudson Highlands Nature Museum , on Muser Drive, across from 174 Angola Road, Cornwall
May 21 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (some natives), Lasdon Arboretum , 2610 Amawalk Road, Katonah
June 3 & 4 and June 10 & 11 (time TBD) (all natives), Long Island Native Plant Initiative , Suffolk County Community College, 121 Speonk Riverhead Road, Riverhead
May 7 9 a.m. -4 p.m. (some natives), Garden Education Center of Greenwich , 130 Bible St., Cos Cob
May 14 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (some natives), Bartlett Arboretum , 151 Brookdale Road, Stamford
May 20 TBD (orders due by April 30) (all natives), Audubon Greenwich , 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich
April 23 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (all natives), Pinelands Preservation Alliance , 17 Pemberton Road, Southampton
May 14 & June 11 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (all natives), Clemson Farms Native Nursery – retail sale days, 108 Linwood Ave., Estell Manor
May 20, 3 – 6 pm; May 21 9 a.m. – noon, D&R Greenway Land Trust , 1 Preservation Place, Princeton
May 20 & May 21 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (all natives), New Jersey Audubon Society , Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May
June 4 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (all natives), New Jersey Audubon Society , Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville
June 4 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (all natives), New Jersey Audubon Society , Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road, Cranbury
These native plant sales will usually have knowledgeable volunteers available to help you select appropriate plants for your landscape. A shopping tip before you go – when buying native perennials, make sure to buy in quantity. You want to create easy targets for pollinators and other wildlife. And don’t forget native trees and shrubs for wildlife habitat and food sources.
Kim Eierman, a resident of Bronxville, is an environmental horticulturist and Founder of EcoBeneficial . When she is not speaking, writing, or consulting about ecological landscapes, she teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center and Rutgers Home Gardeners School.