Next event: April 29, 2017
In just four years this event has built on the solid foundation of its original focus on education and sales related to native plant species in individual gardens, so that in 2016 we enjoyed a greater diversity of more products, a growing variety of educational classes and exhibits on subjects such as forest conservation, and new activities including our hemlock tree restoration walk… and even a food truck.
Location: Moore Field, just below Lake Susan, along Lookout Road. Ample parking is across the street in the Anderson Auditorium lot, about 9/10 of a mile and on the right side of Assembly Drive after entering Montreat.
9:00 – The Reading of the Arbor Day Proclamation
10-11 – Firewise Workshop – Led by Eric Muecke of NC Forest Service
11-12 – ecoEXPLORE Reptile Program – Led by Jonathan Marchal of The NC Arboretum
Open throughout the sale:
Hands-on Activity Table for Children
Montreat Ranger Hut – staffed by the Montreat Trail Club
Master Gardeners Information Table
Hemlock Restoration Initiative
Landcare Table and Invasive Plants Display
For information about our vendors and the overall program, click here: 2017 Native Plant Sale Poster-[4-3]final
What the 2016 Event Aimed to Achieve
The goal of this event is to “Promote awareness and use of native plants in Montreat yards, gardens and landscapes, while avoiding introductions of invasive, non-native species.”
Objectives for achieving this include:
(1) Educating homeowners on appropriate native plants and gardening practices, particularly using perennials such as wildflowers and also indigenous tree species,
(2) Officially acknowledging Montreat’s achievement of becoming a Tree City USA this year,
(3) Providing vendor exposure and sales/networking/service opportunities,
(4) Educating home and property owners more broadly about overall care of their lands, and the lands of Montreat’s ecosystem, and best practices for maintaining them,
(5) Offering non-profit educational interests a platform for sharing science-based information on native plants, wildlife and regional habitats, such as through displays and seminars,
(6) Using the event as part of building a greater plan/vision for sustainability of Montreat’s vegetation and environment,
(7) Celebrating community-mindedness in a social setting,
(8) Affording visibility for Landcare Committee programs and its eight member organizations, and providing outreach from the town to the larger community in the area.
Vendors and Exhibitors
Sales of Native Plants, Trees and Supplies:
- Appalachian Chic—food and refreshments
- Appalachian Creek Nursery & Landscape
- High Country Nursery
- In-Site Out Design
- Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack
- Professional Landscape Solutions
- Ten Thousand Villages
Exhibits, Information and Display Tables:
- Montreat Landcare Committee
- Extension Master Gardeners
- North Carolina Forest Service
- Hemlock Restoration Initiative
For a gallery of images click here.
The idea for a “native plant sale” in Montreat was conceived and adopted as a Landcare project in 2012. We recall the “buzz” of homeowners during the first event, on a bright crisp morning in 2013, and the pleasure of all four of our vendors (and master gardeners) with customer traffic that day. While the original emphasis has continued to be on providing a venue for display and purchase of locally sourced, smaller, perennial native plants, the event grew to include an Arbor Day (trees) component in 2015. Plus, a new series of educational workshops seemed to be a hit with property owners. Three of the original four plant vendors still were with us in 2016. Locating new growers/sellers who trade exclusively in native plant species is a challenge, especially at this time of year, not just for us but other communities as well. Defining the right mix of natives and decorative, long-blooming annual flowers to offer is a work in progress.
What’s a Native Plant?
More than ever, native plants should be the preferred choice of homeowners, businesses and institutions for their gardens. A native plant is adapted to local climate and seasons, and offers advantages concerning drought hardiness and resistance to disease and insect pests. In contrast, so-called invasive plants cause problems in the environment because they may be toxic to native wildlife, while a lack of natural controls can allow rampant growth. Click here for Montreat Landcare Fact Sheet #1 with some practical tips on use of native plants.
What Are Invasive Plants and Why Avoid Them?
“Exotics” are non-native plants introduced by human action from another geographic area. Some are accidental, but many have been deliberate, intended to beautify gardens or actually enhance wildlife. Many are benign. But, a particular class of non-natives called “invasive species” is dangerous to native flora and even animals. They can choke out favored wildflowers, overgrow plants, and be harmful to wildlife. Montreat invasives include Japanese knotweed, Oriental bittersweet, and even English Ivy. See Landcare Fact Sheet #2 concerning invasives.