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Why Natives

 

Elle Anderson of the Ashland Library contacted JCMGA and asked if we would consider participating in the Jackson County Library System’s career development day. She was looking for a recommendation for a gardening topic that would have wide appeal to a broad range of interest. Lynn Kunstman responded immediately with her subject, “Why Native Plants.” Thank you, Lynn.

Based on my personal experience with Lynn’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and especially her power of persuasion about the use of native plants, I thought this was the perfect presentation for this event. It is scheduled for late April and will have JCLS staff from all branches as attendees.

Early in the pandemic, I went to Lynn’s driveway to purchase some plants that she was selling to keep some funds rolling in for JCMGA during these challenging times. This pop-up sale was an honor system arrangement and I did not expect to see her. However, she and her hubby drove up as I was looking over the offerings. Being new to the Rogue Valley, I was only slightly familiar with most of the plants. I was looking for milkweed as I did want to attract Monarchs. So, masked and at least six feet apart, we had a lively conversation. Like busy bees pollinating a large garden, we conversationally buzzed among many native plant topics. During the 30 to 40 minutes in Lynn’s driveway, along with her recommendation of watching Doug Tallamy on YouTube, I became a convert.

I am wondering how many converts she will create who would join me in their own gardens, bottoms up, and heads down, moving plants and making room for new natives such as those that I am now aware of and on the lookout for.

We can become a movement that finds ways to improve our environment and makes way for more birds and insects that can help move our planet back toward a healthier place for all life to thrive.

EVENTS:

Susan Koenig and John Kobal were off to a grand start with OLLI class, “Vegetable Gardening in the Rogue Valley.” Their first class of the eight-week session had 39 participants and covered a deep dive into soils. John and Susan provided detailed information from testing to what it takes to create good gardening soils to how to keep it that way. Susan and John have created their own fan club in the OLLI World and I expect that their followers will continue to sign up for many more interesting gardening classes in the future.