Fall native plant sale
Our major plant sale has always been in the fall, generally on the first or second Saturday and Sunday of September.
This may seem odd to traditional gardeners who see spring as planting time. This is probably because so many plants sold are annual bedding plants, such as petunias or marigolds, that have to be planted in the spring since they’ll be discarded in the fall, replaced by fall ornamentals, such as mums.
But fall is a great planting time for plants that are meant to be part of rich, diverse, living landscape: perennial herbaceous plants and woodies (i.e. trees and shrubs).
Of course, this plant sale is a major fundraiser, enabling HGCNY to pay our monthly speakers and to fund our free newsletter. But our primary purpose is to get native plants planted in CNY landscapes, previously difficult to do since there are very few local nurseries that have native plants.
So another purpose of our sale is to support true native plant nurseries in the region around CNY. Most of these are too far for people to travel to for just a few plants, so we bring them here to Syracuse on consignment. We’ve had great partnerships, beneficial to HGCNY, the nurseries, and to the wildlife that depends on native plants.
And we’ve learned over the years that this two-day event is a wonderful educational opportunity, with our members able to talk about the plants, make recommendations, and just get to know people. And we host the sale at Our Habitat Garden, so people can see what many of the plants will look like when they mature.
Spring native plant sale
Since our parent organization, Wild Ones, is one of the partners in the Monarch Joint Venture, we’ve held a milkweed sale (pre-order only) for a number of years.
Our “local” nurseries (actually regional since there aren’t many sources of native plants right here in the Syracuse area) have produced local ecotype milkweed plants for us to “sell.” We do charge for these plants, but we only cover the cost of the plants to us. This sale isn’t a fund-raiser. It’s part of our contribution to monarch conservation. And as of 2017, we’ve distributed more than 2,000 local ecotype milkweeds!
In 2017, we added native nectar plants to the pre-order list to provide not only for adult monarch butterflies but also for pollinators.