Native Plant Sale set for this Saturday at James Farm

The 9th annual Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale will be held this Saturday, May 4, at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.

Sally Boswell of the Center for the Inland Bays, which sponsors the sale, said they will have five nurseries on hand again this year and will also, for a second year, feature James Carfagno, who will discuss the importance of bees as pollinators.

“We will also have Good Earth [Market] doing the food, and we will be selling rain barrels, probably for the last time this year.”

The nurseries will offer thousands of native plants: trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses and flowers. Nature Design of Bethany Beach and Roots Nursery from Selbyville will bring a wide selection of natives, and 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, Boswell said.

She explained that Center for the Inland Bays will have more than 80 rain barrels on hand, so there should be plenty on offer for anyone that wishes to purchase one. They are available for $40 each and are ready for hardware installation, with all the hardware inside them.

Boswell said they will have field biologist and naturalist Tom Lord, a retired professor, leading their trail walk at 10:30 a.m. Each year, they have a different person lead the walk, which in turn gives people a different perspective on the James Farm property.

“We are looking forward to having him,” explained Boswell. “He is also very knowledgeable about birds, as well, and this is a good time of year for people to see them.”

They will also have their children’s tent, hosted by the Bethany Beach Nature Center, with children’s activities throughout the day.

Boswell said she is amazed at how the event has become a tradition for the area.

“It’s really a community gathering,” she said. “It’s not just a native plant sale. People really look forward to it. It has really taken on as an established community event. It’s become a tradition. You don’t always know what will happen when you start an event like this. It’s what you hope for, but you don’t know.”

Boswell said that, in addition to the nurseries, they will also have the Delaware Nature Society on hand to help people with constructing a backyard habitat and local experts from the Master Gardeners for people who are new at gardening with native plants.

The Gardening for the Bays native plant sale will be held Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. For more information, visit