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Celebrate Native Plant Week at Sale and Information Event Oct. 13

The coneflower is a native Texas plant that would brighten up any garden or landscaping. Discover more native plants at an event 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 13 hosted by the Highland Lakes chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Long before settlers built their homesteads and farms in the Hill Country, introducing plants from outside of the region, native plants thrived. Even during extended periods of drought, these species somehow survived, attracting wild animals and birds.

Pat Campbell and the Highland Lakes chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas want to share the value of native plants and how they can transform our landscapes.

“Native plants are a much better choice than non-natives,” Campbell said. “They don’t use as much water. And pollinators will go to native plants before they go to non-native or other plants.”

She added that native plants also don’t require additional fertilizers and insecticides like non-native species do, which means less pollutants in runoff leading to our waterways.

However, many people don’t know how to use native plants in their landscape or even much about them.

To ease the learning curve, the local Native Plant Society chapter is holding its annual Native Plant Week celebration from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Horseshoe Bay city offices, #1 Community Drive.

Chapter members will be selling native plants they’ve raised, and they’re also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to using these species in landscaping and gardens.

One criticism people have of native plants is they aren’t as colorful or diverse as non-native species. Campbell said, on the contrary, native plants offer gardeners a varied palette.

“Native and adapted plants have a lot of different colors and styles,” she said. “They have some interesting leaf structures. Then, there are tall plants, short plants. They really do give you a lot of variety to work with.”

During the event, noted native plant expert Deedy Wright will present “Using Native Plants in the Landscape from Wildscape to Formal” at 10:30 a.m. in the City Council chambers. Wright serves as the vice president for the state board of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Campbell said one of the best ways to understand how you can use native plants in landscaping is seeing how others have used them. This year, the Highland Lakes chapter is presenting Robert and Ceci de la Garza with the first Native Plant Garden of the Year.

“They’ve done an incredible job working native plants into their landscaping,” Campbell said. The chapter will honor the de la Garzas at 10 a.m.

Anyone interested in having their landscape or garden considered for the award can contact Campbell at patcamp65@gmail.net.

As a greater swath of the Hill Country is cut up and developed, it’s becoming even more important for homeowners, business owners, and landowners to create “pocket prairies, pocket wildscapes, and other native habitat.” These habitats, even small ones, serve as great food sources for butterflies, native bees, hummingbirds, birds, and other wildlife.

“There are so many great benefits with native plants,” Campbell added.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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