Friday, Jul 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Gardening

Plant sale to cultivate education

Botanical garden to host fall event

  • CTY-plants24p-1

    Shopper Melanie Navarre, of Sylvania Township, left, speaks with Toledo Botanical Garden volunteer and native plant expert Denise Gehring at the second day of the garden's annual fall plant sale.

    <The Blade/Jetta Fraser
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-plants24p

    Shopper Melanie Navarre of Sylvania Township, left, speaks with Denise Gehring, a volunteer with the Toledo Botanical Garden, at the second day of the garden's annual fall plant sale.

    <THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
    Buy This Image

CTY-plants24p-1

Shopper Melanie Navarre, of Sylvania Township, left, speaks with Toledo Botanical Garden volunteer and native plant expert Denise Gehring at the second day of the garden's annual fall plant sale.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
Enlarge | Buy This Image

From June grass to the purple flowers of the New England aster, Denise Gehring loves educating gardeners about the native plants of the Oak Openings region.

Ms. Gehring was doing just that on Sunday afternoon at the fall plant sale of the Toledo Botanical Garden, helping shoppers select plants based on their garden's soil, available space, and sun or shady areas.

The sale highlighted native regional grasses, trees, shrubs, and other plants.

Oak Openings is more than just a local Metropark; it is also the name for a region in parts of Lucas, Wood, Henry and Fulton counties and portions of southeast Michigan. Its native landscape is characterized by sandy soil and widely-branched oak trees and is a transition from oak woodlands to prairie. This landscape exists only in pockets now. The Nature Conservancy has called it "One of America's Last Greatest Places."

Ms. Gehring said gardeners can plant native species to preserve biodiversity, and also because they are easier to maintain, having adapted to the region's ecosystem over thousands of years.

"Native plants in gardens not only reduce habitat fragmentation, they reduce challenges in gardening," she said, as they can flourish with less watering or maintenance than non-native plants.

Shopper Melanie Navarre of Sylvania Township said she has native plants such as big bluestem and little bluestem grasses in the sandy soil of her garden and appreciates their low-maintenance needs.

"They are adapted to the area," she said.

Jan Hunter, owner of Naturally Native Nursery, was at the sale to talk to shoppers about pollinators, such as bees, insects, and hummingbirds that aid flowering plants in pollination. Ms. Hunter, sporting green nail polish, joked she has 10 green thumbs as she explained the benefits of native plants.

"They are better for the environment," she said. "They provide food and shelter for wildlife. They are as beautiful as any cultivated plant."

Proceeds from the sale benefit the Toledo Botanical Garden, said Susan Noblet, greenhouse technician for the botanical garden.

However, she said, "Our goal is less about revenue and more about educating the public."

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…