If you’re ready to spring into a garden or backyard makeover and want to find plants and flowers that will thrive in our Midwest climate, plan to make a stop at Gillson Park in Wilmette tomorrow, May 8, for Go Green Wilmette’s (GGW) native plant sale.
The in-person, socially distant sale, which goes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., will offer more than 70 varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees that are native to the Chicago area. Want to attract more butterflies and birds? They have a plant for you. Even if your goal is to just make your yard more beautiful, you are likely to find just the right assortment among this carefully curated selection.
Many of the most popular wildflowers, grasses, sedges, shrubs, and trees will be available—including early bloomers like Jack-in-the-pulpit and the feathery Prairie smoke; summer favorites such as Milkweeds, Coneflower and Gray’s sedge; and late bloomers including Rough blazing star and Cardinal flower, which closes the growing season with its brilliant red spikes.
The sale is co-sponsored by the Wilmette Park District and will be held at Gillson Park Swim Beach parking lot, in Wilmette. Masks are required.
Working Bikes, a Chicago-based nonprofit bike shop where old bicycles are fixed up for local sale at reasonable prices or for donation to global communities, will also be on hand to collect donations of used bikes and bike parts for reuse.
Founded in 2006, Go Green Wilmette’s mission is to raise environmental awareness, inspire people to take action, and create a more sustainable community.
This popular plant sale was initiated in 2015, by Karen Glennemeier, President and Senior Ecologist of Habitat Research LLC and former GGW board member.
“We promoted the benefits of native plants for several years, but we didn’t see a lot of interest,” explains Glennemeier. “Native plants provide nourishment for native insects and pollinators, which are essential for both crop propagation and our planet’s food chain. But I think most people weren’t certain about what to buy, so this seemed like a good way to introduce certified native plants and make it easy for people to find the right plants for their own yards which could be sunny, shady, wet or have predominantly clay soil.”
GGW President Beth Drucker says that she is thrilled with the success of the sales over the past 6 years.
“Once Karen found a reliable grower, we teamed up with another Go Green group for the first sale. We had no idea whether people were even interested in growing native plants. The answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ Each year, both new and repeat customers have flocked to our sale, and they all go home to create beautiful outdoor spaces that are also beneficial for birds, pollinators, and other native insects and small creatures,” adds Drucker. “And the beauty of a truly native garden is that, once established, these plants practically take care of themselves, because they adapted long ago to the soil and climate of their native area.”
For more information about the plant sale, visit plants.gogreenwilmette.org. For more information about Working Bikes, visit workingbikes.org.