apache plumeOn Saturday, September 18, 2021, the Gila Native Plant Society (GNPS) will sponsor a native plant sale from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, in the parking lot on the corner of 12th and Pope Streets, across from Gough Park. You are invited to come air your questions about landscaping with native plants with GNPS and with native plant growers and sellers from our region. Five native plant vendors will be present with a great array of native trees, shrubs, perennials, cacti and succulents, vines and more for sale. 

Why plant native plants? Because they have been growing in the region for millennia and they are adapted to the specific conditions of our area, its soil, and its sun and moisture levels. Native plants have longstanding associations with native pollinators and other wildlife, so a yard with diverse groupings of native plants will reward you with a variety of interesting species that are vital to ecosystem health.

Native plants are also much more attractive to butterfly and moth species whose caterpillars are vital for the rearing of newly hatched birds in spring and summer.     

Why plant in the fall? In past years the Gila Native Plant Society typically held its annual plant sale in the spring. To be sure, in spring everyone is more than ready to get some new plants in the ground. But as mid-May turns into June the heat and dryness is on, and this often takes a toll on new plantings, even after much effort and dedication. 

Fall is more forgiving. The ground is moist deep down with the monsoon rains. Days and nights are generally cooler, the humidity is up and the new plantings thrive. They have time to repair any of the damage that inevitably occurs during transplanting. They are able to put out some new root and shoot growth that will enable them to survive the dormancy that the approaching winter will bring. Success in our native gardens is what we all strive for, and proper timing helps to ensure more positive outcomes.

This year, rather than ordering from an online list for later delivery, purchasers will be able to talk to the native plant growers directly, select the specific plants they want to buy and discuss their placement and care. The vendors are Lone Mountain Natives from here in Silver City; Honey Hawk Homestead from the Mimbres; Plants of the Southwest from Albuquerque and Santa Fe; Spadefoot Nursery from Cochise County, Arizona; and Robledo Vista Nursery from Las Cruces. All of them are dedicated to providing native plants for sustainable and environmentally sound landscaping.

For more information, check the Gila Native Plant Society website (http://gilanps.org/events/plant-sale-2/) or contact GNPS at gilanative@gmail.com  

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