The Packet Post Be Good to Yourself and to the Birds and Bees

Be Good to Yourself and to the Birds and Bees

by: Jessica Harrington

The West Newbury Garden Club is holding its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 15 on the West Newbury Training Green from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.   The outdoor setting, coupled with a mask requirement and other Covid protocols, will provide a safe environment for you to browse through beautiful and colorful plants and to select the perfect additions to your home garden.   While the traditional sun and shade plants will be as plentiful as always, this year the Club is adding a Native Plant table, chock full of plants that have always called New England their home.  Native Plants are among the very best for pollination by bees and for sustaining our birds.  Plants on our sun tables will also attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  As a part of our focus on natives, Mason bee houses and local honey will be sold. We will also offer many certified organic herbs.  Club members will be on hand to help with any questions you may have about plant growing habits or their suitability for the tricky places in your own garden.


Both native plants and native bushes will be available.  Want to attract butterflies?  There will be milkweed.  Need some height in your garden? Joe Pye Weed is the solution.  Cardinal Flower will add that pop of red to draw the viewer’s eye.  Brown Eyed Susan will spread to cover a difficult area.  New York Ironweed, Ox Eye Sunflower, Bottle Gentian, Canadian Ginger, and May Apple are some of the other choices you may find hard to resist.  Native strawberries and High Bush Blueberries are tasty choices.  Serviceberry, Red Twig Dogwood, and Spicebush can add an old-fashioned and natural touch to your plantings.  Ostrich Fern is a beauty, with long, tall fronds.


For those of you with gardens blessed with lots of the sun’s rays, Monarda, Phlox, Coneflower, Liatrus, and Daylilies add diverse islands of color, shape, and growing habit.  Asters will keep your garden blooming well into the fall.  These flowering plants also attract bees and butterflies throughout the growing season. Various ground covers will flourish where the grass will not grow.


Club members with those “secret gardens” off in the shade are contributing Hosta, Solomon Seal, Coral Bells, Persicaria, Woodland Phlox, and Epimedium.  Did you know that as long as you keep the flowers on your hostas, you will attract pollinators?  You can create your own very special, shady spot, which is cooler to tend, needs less water, and grows fewer weeds. These three lists give you just a sense of the variety that will entice you.  Even more plants will be added by sale time.  


We are sure that many of our “regulars,” who line up before opening time to discover just what they need in their gardens, missed our plant last year as much as we did. We can all joyfully celebrate spring, hope, and new growth together again this year on May 15.  As well as beautifying your garden, attracting bees, and feeding birds, you will be helping to ensure that deserving young students, preparing for a career keeping our environment healthy, will get a scholarship boost as proceeds from the sale fund our annual scholarships.  Cash, checks, and credit cards will all be accepted.

Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington

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