Citizens for Conservation’s Native Plant, Shrub and Tree Sale set new records in Spring, 2015. According to plant sale chairman Ginger Underwood, gardeners from the greater Barrington area, many communities in Northern Illinois, the North Shore, suburbs south of Chicago, as far west as Rockford and from Wisconsin bought record numbers of native plants for their landscapes.
“We sold 15,366 forbs (flowering plants) woodland plants, ferns and grasses, 281 shrubs and 209 trees,” Underwood reported. “ There were seven species of milkweed, a total of 4,179 plants, included in the forbs total which we sold at near wholesale prices in order to encourage gardeners to plant milkweed to support the dwindling monarch butterfly population.”
A total of 1,446 volunteer hours went into making the sale a success. An anticipated feature of the annual sale is the number of experienced volunteers on hand to offer advice about gardening with native plants.
Asked to what she attributed the continuing and increased interest in the sale, Underwood said that in addition to the expert advice offered on the sale days, CFC’s Community Education programs and their Habitat Corridors home visits raise awareness of the importance and value of native plants.
The 2015 sale was moved across the road from CFC Headquarters to the barn area of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. Underwood explained that it made “A huge difference in terms of parking safety and space for all the plants. The crew at Good Shepherd Hospital was wonderful , they couldn’t have been more helpful.”
In addition to thanking her expert and hard working committee that worked for months preparing for the sale, she pointed out the contributions of 2050 Design that made a big difference by providing pre-sale online ordering capability and more efficient check-out for gardeners eager to get their plants in the ground.