An event every week that begins at 3:00pm on Friday, repeating until October 21, 2016
D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Friday Fall Native Plant Sales will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 pm on Friday, September 23 & 30, and October 7, 14 & 21 at D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton. During the Native Plant Sales, D&R Greenway nursery staff and volunteers will be available to advise on the best choice of plants for gardening projects. Free. 609-924-4646 www.drgreenway.org
“Fall is a great time to plant because there is less chance of drought than in the summer,” says Native Plant Nursery Manager Emily Blackman. “You can plant as late as November, depending on when we get our first real frost.
“Gardeners should leave the vegetation/seed pods standing on their grasses and perennials at least until the seeds have matured and dispersed from the plant, or been eaten by wildlife,” continues Blackman. “Seeds are a big part of the food resources available to wildlife, and we want the seeds to spread so that we get more native plants. Ideally, grasses/perennials should be left standing all winter to provide cover. They can be cut down in the spring if gardeners prefer a neater aesthetic. Shrubs, of course, will have their woody vegetation standing all winter.”
D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery is a community resource for regionally native plants. Eco-conscious gardeners know that using native species provides essential food for wildlife and contributes to a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem, all while creating low maintenance plantings.
Native plants are adapted to central New Jersey’s climate, making them more drought-resistant than most exotic plants, and also provide essential food and habitat resources for wildlife. Of particular concern are migratory species that depend on native plants for fuel before and after their long journeys, and for food and nesting materials during breeding season. Current well-known examples include the monarch butterfly and rufa red knot, dependent specifically on the milkweed and the horseshoe crab, respectively, for their survival.
Migratory wildlife species must build up their energy reserves in the fall before their long journeys. Fall is a critical time for all wildlife species to have access to food before the winter, whether they hibernate, have food caches for the winter or depend on whatever forage they can find. The majority of this food comes from native species.
Because central New Jersey’s native plants and wildlife evolved together, they are highly adapted to and dependent upon each other. Native plant resources are especially critical for wildlife at energy-intensive times of the year, such as spring and fall migration, and during courtship and breeding. In turn, native plants rely upon wildlife for pollination and seed dispersion. Whereas indigenous plants support diversity and disease-resistance, exotic invasive species form monocultures that outcompete other plants. Replacing them with native species, which co-exist, creates a complex, vibrant ecosystem vital to both plants and animals.
“D&R Greenway Land Trust has preserved almost 20,000 acres of land in central New Jersey, with a mission to preserve a network of natural lands and open space accessible to the public, and to inspire a conservation ethic through educational programming, including increasing awareness of the benefits of native species,” says Blackman. “Our Nursery provides plants for habitat restoration projects on D&R Greenway managed land, for use by home gardeners, and for native garden projects by schools, municipalities and other conservation non-profits.”
D&R Greenway Land Trust’s plants are grown from locally sourced seed and starter plants, and are raised and sold with the skilled assistance of a corps of volunteers. Plants are available in quart, gallon and two-gallon sized pots from $5 to $15. A full catalog is available online at www.drgreenway.org/PlantCatalog.html. To check species availability, contact Emily Blackman, Nursery Manager, at (609) 924-4646 or email@example.com.
D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST IS IN ITS 27TH YEAR of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey. Through continuous preservation and stewardship — caring for land and easements to ensure they remain protected and ecologically healthy in perpetuity — D&R Greenway nurtures a healthier and more diverse environment for people and wild species in seven counties. Accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, D&R Greenway’s mission is to preserve and care for land and inspire a conservation ethic, now and for the future. Since its founding in 1989, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved close to 20,000 acres, an area 20 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, including 28 miles of trails open to the public.
The Johnson Education Center, a circa 1900 restored barn at One Preservation Place, Princeton, is D&R Greenway’s home. Through programs, art exhibits and related lectures, D&R Greenway inspires greater public commitment to safeguarding land.