For their May plant sale, Benton County Master Gardeners have emphasized growing native and pollinator-friendly plants. The sale, May 4 at the Benton Fairgrounds, includes well over 10,000 plants–vegetable and herb starts, perennials for sun and shade, trees, vines, and shrubs.
This year, the selection includes several thousand plants particularly favored by local pollinators—bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Over 80 varieties of native plants include those particularly important for local insects, such as several lupine varieties, blue gilia, goldenrod, and milkweed. Other natives include ferns, vine maples, and shrubs such as red-flowered currant, a particular favorite of hummingbirds.
Many other plants offered are blooming garden cultivars known to be good nectar and pollen sources. These include many easy-to-grow perennials. For example, bees and butterflies are particularly drawn to Echinacea, lavender, and catmint. They also favor popular shrubs such as lilac and spiraea. Hummingbirds love bee balm, penstemon, salvias, and hardy fuchsias, often perching nearby to protect their favorite plants.
Help the local pollinators while you plant a beautiful garden at bargain prices. Master Gardeners will be on hand to help you choose what would grow well in your garden and give tips about how to be successful. All proceeds from the sale support Master Gardener educational projects in our schools, demonstration gardens, and community.
See you at the sale: 9:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, May 4, at the southwest corner of the Benton County Fairgrounds.
–Kathy Clark, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Excited about blue orchard mason bees? Check out Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon, a free publication from OSU Extension.