By: Jeanette Jaskula, President, Friends of the Sands
Thank you to everyone who supported our Native Plant Sale this year. We raised $3,706 to support conservation work in Newton County! This was the best sale we have ever had!
This sale is one of my favorite FOS events. I enjoy handing people their boxes full of bright green leaves. I let my imagination run to hummingbirds at Royal Catchfly, goldfinches feasting on Prairie Dock seeds, monarchs on milkweeds, caterpillars of Pearl Crescent butterflies on New England Aster, bumblebees collecting pollen from Wild Lupine, tiny wasps on Mountain Mint, and on and on. The native plants you took home are essential to so many creatures, both great and small.
Getting our sale off the ground takes dedication from some top-notch volunteers. Many thanks to Mary Kay Emmrich, director of the Newton County Public Library, for partnering with Friends of the Sands to collect order forms. With almost 80 orders this year, we received quite a hefty stack of forms!
Many thanks to Danni Hemphill, long-time FOS volunteer, for much-needed help in the greenhouse transplanting seedlings and organizing orders in the days before pick-up. Danni was also at our pick-up table helping everyone receive their orders.
Every plant needs a label so you know who is who in your box of plants. And when you grow over 3,000 plants, you need over 3,000 labels! Thanks to Claudia Miller Pletting and Dee Feigel for writing “Pale Purple Coneflower”, “Sand Coreopsis”, and others over and over and over.
We deeply appreciate Alyssa Nyberg, FOS member and TNC Nursery Manager. Because of Covid, we were unable to assemble volunteers last fall to stratify our seeds. Thank you, Alyssa, for tending to our seeds, sowing them in flats in the spring, and keeping all those seedlings watered for many months.
And lastly, we thank The Nature Conservancy for letting Friends of the Sands use a portion of the greenhouse at the Native Plant Nursery to grow our plants.
All our plants start out as seeds donated by volunteers. In the fall, we will begin the process again: collect, clean, stratify, sow, grow! Please keep an eye on our calendar of events for information about how you can get involved in the process.
In the meantime, enjoy your plants and let us know where your native plants take your imagination!