This Week in the Garden: California Native Plant Society holds sale at UCSC Arboretum

With great excitement and enthusiasm, members of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the California Native Plant Society have announced that they are having their first in-person sale since the beginning of the pandemic.

The sale is from 10-11 a.m. Oct 16 for members only (memberships available day of the sale), and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the sale is open to the public, at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz.

It is an outdoor event with social distancing guidelines to be followed, masks optional but recommended. Noted garden designer Angel Guerzon will be a special guest speaker at 11:30 a.m. This sale will feature more than 100 species of native plants, many of them new offerings for the chapter.

I asked Kari Olsen, the CNPS lead propagator why our native plants are so important and why we should be planting them, especially now during this historic drought and with the effects of climate change affecting us all.

“I’m a big follower of ecologist Doug Tallamy who wrote ‘Bringing Nature Home’ and more recently ‘Nature’s Best Hope.’ Tallamy emphasizes that as humans expand our urban environment outward into adjacent wildlands, it is essential to bring that displaced nature into our landscapes and homescapes,” Olsen shared. “The simple way to do that is to use plants native to the region. The native insects have coevolved with these plants, and the native birds depend on a plentiful insect population in order to reproduce. If we want to pull back from the looming Biodiversity Crisis which has also captured recent headlines, part of the solution is to plant our region’s native plants because they support everything else.

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“Part of CNPS’s mission is to make those plants available through our Chapter Plant Sales. It’s an encouraging thought that we can all play a role in repairing some of the ecological damage that has occurred by just putting those plants back into our landscapes and homescapes,” Olsen continued. “In the face of massive threats to our global ecosystems, it’s vitally important to find ways where we know we are making a difference. Join Tallamy’s revolution to remake our urban areas into havens for biodiversity. Don’t take my word for it; watch one of his talks on YouTube, he is a gifted educator and you will come away inspired.”

Does Olsen recommended any particular plants?

“Plants I especially like/recommend are those that support pollinators and other wildlife,” Olsen wrote. “We have all seen headlines about the Insect Apocalypse and the threat of extinction for over half of North America’s bird species. We’ve experienced the former first-hand, living here on the Central Coast watching the decline of the Western Monarch Butterfly.

“The Monarch is just one species, albeit a charismatic one. There are over 1,000 butterfly and moth species native to California and over 1,600 bees,” Olsen continued. “As for the birds, we all love our local hummingbirds, but it’s not just nectar that fuels them especially when they are raising their babies; all baby birds need protein and that means …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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