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Native plant sale brings out buyers by the score

By Staff | Jul 24, 2011

An hour after the Native Plant Sale began Saturday morning, plants were already sold out at Rotary Park as people purchased their favorites to add to their yard.

Karen Glazener was one of the many people who took advantage of the plant sale that showcased four different vendors and 150 different plants this past weekend. She said she was looking for at least two to three trees that she could plant in her front yard because it is currently bare.

“I am looking for something that blooms with a flower,” Glazener said.

She made sure she arrived at Rotary Park at 9 a.m. when the event began, so she could choose from the best selection.

“I think they have a lot of variety,” Glazener said. Although she pulled a wheel barrow that contained a fiddlewood tree that she liked she was still searching the rows of plants for more.

Glazener was glad she attended the sale due to the reasonable prices she found.

Marion Vanhorn decided to attend the event again this year, so she could stock up on some of the plants she knew she liked, along with finding some new ones to add to her landscape. She said whatever strikes her is what she would purchase.

“They are good for the environment,” Vanhorn said about why she enjoys purchasing native plants. “Native plants don’t require as much water.”

Lilia Arango, who moved to Cape Coral three years ago from New Jersey, decided to attend the sale Saturday morning because she figured she would try some new plants in her yard.

“I think it’s pretty good,” she said about the sale because she learned a lot about the plants she was purchasing.

Arango, who pulled a wagon full of plants, said she wanted to try to purchase plants that did well with the weather.

The Native Plant Sale, which was sponsored by the Coccoloba Chapter of the Native Plant Society, had members roaming around the sale helping people with questions they had about the native plants.

Mark Miller, a member of the chapter since the early 90’s said this year’s summer event brought in a great crowd. He said in years past the heat would draw people away, but this year, residents came to the sale and knew what kind of plants they were looking for.

About 90 percent of the plants that were for sale, Miller said were native; the other 10 percent were plants that attracted butterflies, which were not invasive.

“It feels so good to see plants and people enjoying them,” he said.

Miller said the plant sale is a good way for residents to give back to Florida by purchasing native plants and planting them in their yard.

He said he helped individuals carry plants they liked, load them into wheel barrows or their cars, along with answering any questions they may have.

Katie Locklin, Rotary Park recreation specialist, said this year the sale offered fewer shade trees and more flowers that people could fill their flower beds with. She said the sale featured four local family owned businesses.

Locklin said it is good that people came to the sale to buy their native plants because they are used to the summer rain and the winter droughts. She said the nice thing about native plants is once they are established all you have to do is sit back and watch the butterflies come.

Hickory Hammock Native Tree Farm grower and broker Terry Sanders said she has participated in the native plant sale for the last 10 years. She said usually in July they do not have a good turnout, but it looked much better this year.

“Things sold out in the first hour,” Sanders said. She said she tries to bring plants that are in bloom because they sell better