Delaware native beauties will be on display, ready to be added to local gardens, at the 9th Annual Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View, sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.
Five nurseries will offer thousands of native plants, trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses and flowers along with good advice and expertise. Nature Design of Bethany Beach and Roots Nursery from Selbyville will bring a wide selection of natives for maritime climate and coastal soils. Another local nursery, East Coast Garden Center from Millsboro, will offer hundreds of popular native trees, shrubs and flowering plants.
Environmental Concern, a nonprofit nursery from St. Michael’s, Md., has been part of the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale since its beginning and will have more than 50 varieties of plants for rain gardens, woodland gardens and gardens by the sea.
For those interested in water plants for ponds and wet areas, Envirotech Environmental Consulting from Lewes will bring pools filled with plants that love water.
Tom Lord, field biologist and naturalist, will lead a walk on the pathways and boardwalks of James Farm at 10:30 a.m. Bring binoculars. The spring bird migration season is underway, so there is a good chance of seeing warblers and other spring visitors to the watershed on the beach and in the forests of James Farm.
Local beekeeper James Carfagno will show and tell the story of bees, some of nature's most important native pollinators, crucial to backyard gardens and commercial agriculture.
For gardeners new to native plant gardening, the Master Gardeners from Sussex County will be dispensing free advice and a wealth of information on selecting and growing native plants. The Delaware Nature Society will show how to create a certified backyard habitat.
The Good Earth Market of Clarksville will have coffee and muffins for early birds, and for lunch, the popular organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber sandwiches and grilled organic hotdogs will be on the menu. The Bethany Beach Nature Center will host the children’s tent.
Gardening for the Bays garden aprons will be on sale again this year in forest green with a blue flag iris design. Bargain hunters can choose from Gardening for the Bays T-shirts and 1000 Rain Gardens for the Inland Bays T-shirts, on sale for $5 this year. And, new this year, gardening gloves will be sold, with all proceeds going to support the work of the CIB.
The Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale is an outreach education event of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a nonprofit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays Watershed through habitat protection and restoration, science and research, education and outreach, and effective public policy.