I parked and trekked toward the sale, striking up a conversation with another patron. He was here because his county offered rebates for transitioning lawns to native plants. We parted ways at the entrance and wended our way through the crowded aisles.
A sign near the front boasted a talk on "The Connection Between Native Plants and Pollinators."
Further inside, several folks bent over pots at the end of one aisle. A bearded man with a "Volunteer" apron wowed the growing crowd with a tale of a monarch butterfly laying eggs on this species in his own garden. "I'll take four," one woman announced. Two others began scooping up plants.
Monarch butterfly on California native milkweed.
A young woman, her toddler in tow, grabbed a volunteer in front of me. "We are already sold out of huckleberry," she was informed. "Wait, any other plants for birds?" She left go of her daughter's hand to fish out a dog-eared list from her purse.
This year, the native plant society stocked more plants than they ever had before. Even so, I was lucky to get the last of the coyote mint, its scent wafting through the sale as I carried my treasures to the front.
Last year, plant sale volunteers had commented on the record number of visitors at the sale. This year, they were simply speechless. The drought has created a wave of gardeners "going native". Some are motivated by rebates. My community, however, has no rebates but does have a plethora of newly native gardens. Local nurseries are expanding their selection. What was once half a table is now four tables, the banner out front proclaiming, "We Carry California Natives."
Amidst bad news, another year of drought forecast, the proliferation of climate change denial, an island of trash the size of Texas, plummeting pollinator populations . . . amidst all this, there is something more.
Hummingbird on drought tolerant California fuchsia.
My haul, destined for my own native plant garden.
Fall is a great time to plant natives in most of the country. Local fauna have adapted to local plants for thousands of years. Help local wildlife by going native.
This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Maple Hill Hop, and Tuesday Garden Party.