Maine Audubon’s 2019 Native Plants Sale & Festival was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came, explored, and shopped. If you missed the big event, it’s not too late to get great native plants this summer — please keep reading!
On June 15th, we sold over 2,000 Maine native perennials, vines, shrubs, and trees, bringing in over $28,000 to support our ongoing habitat education and restoration efforts. When combined with our various satellite sales, stewardship projects, and donor pre-sale event in Spring 2019, Maine Audubon has contributed nearly 3,000 plants to landscapes all over Maine, and raised roughly $35,000 for our “Bringing Nature Home” in Maine initiative. We’ve also inspired and engaged at least 1,000 people directly — everyone from sixth graders at King Middle School to seniors in retirement communities.
Got plants, what’s next?
If you bought plants from us or are involved in one of these stewardship projects, now is the fun part. Your plants can be planted anytime you want this summer, and most can also happily remain in pots for at least another month if needed. The most important factor to consider is whether you will be able to water your new plants through the hot, dry part of summer (it’ll come, we promise!). We choose native plants in part because they need less maintenance and TLC. That said, new plants do need some help getting established the first year. Also, don’t be discouraged if your new additions seem to die back soon after planting. Many of the plants we sell spend most of their first-year energy underground developing root systems and settling in, so you may not be very impressed by what you see up top. Be patient and allow a full growing season (including a spring) before you fully give up on them.
Didn’t get plants or need more?
Have no fear, Maine Audubon is still here. We have a number of excellent plants remaining from our June sales, and our retail staff at Gilsland Farm are happy to show you what we have. We are also taking special orders for mid-July, So, stop by and see what we have and fill out a form to be included in our next order. Lastly, we have started dividing the seedlings we have propagated ourselves, and expect to have numerous species of milkweed, bee balm, goldenrod, and aster becoming available for sale throughout the summer. Check our website periodically or sign up for our blog to learn what’s available and when.
Keep learning and growing
Now that you’ve “gotten the bug” (for hosting more insects!), there are so many ways to dig deeper and learn more. Look for improvements and additions to the Maine Audubon website, and visit our various landscape stewardship projects in Portland and elsewhere this summer. You can also stay tuned to our partners such as Wild Seed Project, Native Haunts, and Native Plant Trust. Lastly, Maine Audubon’s three Nature Stores at Gilsland Farm, Fields Pond, and Scarborough Marsh are stocked with field guides and other great resources for learning more and enhancing the habitats for birds and other wildlife around you.
A word of thanks to our generous supporters
Maine Audubon is deeply grateful for all of the sponsors, partners, and volunteers who have made “Bringing Nature Home” in Maine such a huge success. There are too many to list you all here, but entities such as U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the City of Portland, and Longfellow Garden Club have provided tremendous faith and funding for this important project in the past year. Above all, though, we wish to thank Ann & Jim Hancock for their transformational leadership, funding, and sweat equity in the founding and growth of this important initiative over the past five years. Thank you each and all!!!