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Native Plant Sale: pre-order now for best selection | Guest Column
By Master Gardener Jane Wentworth
As gardeners, this is the time of year to pour over plant and seed catalogs while much of the garden and landscape overwinters.
It’s also a time for thinking about planting in late winter and early spring to get plants established during our rainy season. And to help with your planning - it’s also time for the annual San Juan County Master Gardener/Conservation District Native Plant Sale.
The sale is scheduled for March 29, 9 a.m. to noon, on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas Islands.
Plants native to the Pacific Northwest are beautiful in the garden and landscape, are beneficial for wildlife, and improve habitat and plant diversity. In addition to the longtime favorite trees and shrubs like Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Red Flowering Currant, there are a number of new and noteworthy additions this year:
Pacific Crabapple (Malus fusca) has attractive flowers and fruits and is a good plant for creating thickets.
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is a graceful, deciduous tree with leaves that flutter in the breeze. It provides a beautiful focal point for wildflower meadows, pond margins or stream banks.
Rocky Mountain or Douglas Maple (Acer glabrum) is a small tree or shrub more likely to occur naturally in the San Juan Islands, and adds fall and winter color to the garden or landscape. It is better adapted to drier, open sites than Vine Maple (Acer circinatum).
Silk Tassel (Garrya elliptica) has leathery dark green leaves, is a good choice for hedgerows, and blooms from mid-winter to mid-spring.
Sweet Gale (Myrica gale) is an aromatic, deciduous shrub, fixes nitrogen and is a good choice for wet or poor soils.
Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus) has attractive leaves and flowers and is a good soil-binder.
Quantities are limited, so order now. The deadline for orders is March 13.
For more information and the entire list of plants and to print an order form, go to http://sanjuan.wsu.edu, or call WSU Extension at 378-4414 for information and order forms.