WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Native Plant Alliance will host its 7th Annual Native Plant Festival on Saturday, September 17 from 10a.m.–3p.m. Eleven plant sellers from four counties will offer attendees the chance to buy native plants and learn how to care for them. The educational events will be at the New Hanover County Arboretum; native plants will be for sale at five different locations in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.
Festival co-chair Amy Mead, NC Cooperative Extension, says, “The Native Plant Festival is a wonderful event where people can come to the Arboretum to learn about the benefits and importance of native plants and then head out into the community to local nurseries where they can buy native plants to add to their own back yards.”
Where to Learn
The Arboretum will offer hands-on activities from 18 educational exhibitors, including Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, NHC Beekeepers, NC Coastal Federation, Coastal Composting Council and SE Coastal Chapter of the NC Native Plant Society.
The Arboretum will host hourly in-person presentations by native plant experts in its Education Center. Topics will be the new Nature at Home certification program, transforming suburban spaces to wildlife oases, and the importance of natives for birds. Keynote Speaker Madalyn Baldwin, Assistant Research Professor at NC State University’s Coastal Dynamics Design Lab, will present on Coastal Landscaping Design at 1 p.m.
Extension Master Gardener Volunteers at the Arboretum Plant Clinic and Shelton Herb Farm can answer gardening-related questions. Docents in the Arboretum’s Native Plant Demonstration Garden will have suggestions for how visitors can add native plants to their own gardens to help support insects and wildlife. There will be a Seed Swap booth giving away free seeds. The Webo’s Down Home Cookin’ food truck will be on site from 10 to 2.
Where to Buy – Plants will not be for sale at the Arboretum
Native plants from eleven regional vendors will be for sale at five sites: Blooms+Branches, Carolina Girl Nursery, The Garden Shop, Shelton Herb Farm, (5 vendors) and Wild Bird and Garden (3 vendors). (Not all vendors can accept credit cards.) Maps of all Festival sites will be available at all Festival locations, and online at bit.ly/3Cu9htX.
The Native Plant Alliance is grateful for the support of its primary sponsor, the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum.
The event is free (donations are welcome); parking is free at all sites. Learn more at https://arboretum.nhcgov.com/ or call (910) 798-7660.
–New Hanover County Cooperative Extension