Booster

Saturday sale will feature plants native to Ohio

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It's the circle of life, as we all learned from The Lion King.

But that circle can be broken by the introduction of non-native plants and other species to an area.

Pythons let loose in the Everglades are thriving and wiping out some indigenous mammals. The emerald ash borer is another prime example.

To help restore that circle of life in central Ohio, members of the local chapter of a nationwide movement aimed at increasing the use of native species in home gardens will hold a plant sale Saturday, May 31, at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Road. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"We are going to have plants available that people just can't buy in the stores, and we are going to have people who know about native plants, are experts on native plants," said Luanne Hendricks of Westerville, a member of Wild Ones Columbus.

"It's a good opportunity to see how they can be used," said Clintonville resident Karen H. Martens.

Martens is president of the local chapter of Wild Ones, an organization that promotes landscaping with native plants and natural landscaping.

At what's being billed the Native Plant-Palooza, Martens said lots of native species -- many donated from the gardens of Wild Ones Columbus members, others from local nurseries -- will be available at a reasonable cost. Lots of milkweed will be for sale, Hendricks said, at prices far lower than can be found at nurseries.

Gale Martin, who owns the Natives in Harmony nursery in Marengo, will talk about how to use native plants in home landscaping at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Hendricks said.

The Wild Ones chapter will have an information table offering literature about raising native species, Martens said, and there will be tours of the rain gardens that have been installed at the church. Games, face-painting and butterfly displays are planned for children.

Martens said she had long been a gardening enthusiast, but her approach to the pastime changed in 2009 when she read the book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy.

"It just clicked with me that we needed to do native gardening in our yard," Martens said. "Since then I've been thoroughly enjoying gardening natives and being involved in the Wild Ones chapter here in Columbus."

"Another aspect of this is that native plants are the food for a lot of our native butterflies," Hendricks said. "The important thing is that native plants provide habitat for some of the wildlife we really like to have around, like butterflies and birds."

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