Go native in your garden with annual plant sale May 13-14
Gardeners are invited to think global and plant local by buying native plants at the DuPage Forest Preserve District's popular Native Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 13, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St. in Oak Brook.
Shoppers can get gardening advice from district plant experts at the sale, which will feature 13 new plant species.
A list of native flowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that may be available are posted at dupageforest.org/native-plant-sale, but actual availability is based on what the supplier delivers the week of the sale. The Native Plant Sale page includes other details about the sale and links to helpful blogs on native plants and gardening.
Shoppers can purchase plants and merchandise using cash, check, or credit card, and should bring boxes or containers to transport plants home and plastic to line their trunks.
All plants at the sale originate from seed collected within 100 miles of DuPage County and are not treated with insecticides containing neonicotinoids, which are harmful to bees and other pollinators. Gardeners who landscape with native plants help wildlife by provide additional habitat for them.
"The Native Plant Sale is intended to raise public awareness, spark interest, and deepen knowledge about the many benefits of gardening with native plants -- from healthy habitat for wildlife and people to resource conservation and climate benefits to simple beauty," said Anamari Dorgan, district director of community engagement services.
All proceeds from the sale go to support educational programming at the Forest Preserve District.
Native plants provide food for pollinators and require far less maintenance and watering than annuals during the hot summer months. Planting native plants that thrive in Illinois soils increases biodiversity and provides a food source for a wide variety of pollinators. Native plants also contribute to a healthy ecosystem with deep roots that help aerate the soil.
Gardeners can also get free wood chips for their gardens on Saturdays, May 14 and 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Forest Preserve District's native plant nursery at Blackwell Forest Preserve, 29W220 Mack Road in West Chicago.
Homeowners can bring vehicles no larger than a pickup truck to take mulch; contractors are not allowed. A district employee will be on hand with a tractor to help fill trailers or truck beds. People who want smaller amounts should bring their own hand tools and containers.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years.
More than 6.2 million people visit its 60-plus forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year.