Longwood Gardens will offer a day of walks and talks by its experts Friday, along with a native plant giveaway to mark the first Pennsylvania Native Species Day.
For decades, plant experts have been extolling the value of using native plants in gardens. They tolerate weather extremes better than imports and also encourage native pollinators and other wildlife.
The native species day, established by the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council, is meant to increase Pennsylvanians’ knowledge of native plants, trees, insects and fish and other animals and the pressures on their survival.
Longwood, a former du Pont estate located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, will take patrons through its meadow, wildflower walk, home garden walk and butterfly field.
Meadow Ecology Walk 11 a.m. Meet at the Hourglass Lake Pavilion. Longwood’s meadow garden is a dynamic ecosystem full of native plant and animal life. Dr. Lea Johnson will talk about what it takes to keep native meadow communities vibrant and keep invasive species from taking over.
Wildflower Walk Noon Meet at the Meadow Garden Entrance. There, 300 species of wildflowers bloom each year and volunteers track their timing as part of a scientific effort to understand effects of climate change on ecosystems. Ecology Technician Kristie Lane Anderson will lead a walk focusing on key features to identify wildflowers in nature.
Using Native Plants in Your Home Garden Walk 1 p.m. Meet at Peirce’s Plaza. Senior Horticulturist Kari Getchonis will talk about how to add wildlife-supporting, pollinator-friendly native species to home gardens.
Butterfly Field Discovery Walk 2 p.m. Meet at Meadow Garden Entrance. Butterflies—and other members of the Order Lepidoptera like moths and skippers—are essential to the pollination of many species of plants; plus, their caterpillars are a primary food for baby songbirds. The diversity of pollinators is one of the things being studied in the meadow. Ecology Technician Noelle Raezer will talk about Lepidoptera and the diversity of species there.
Native plant giveaway
From noon until 5 p.m. Friday, native plants will be given away in The Garden Shop. They will be limited to the first 700 guests.
Longwood Gardens is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. For more info, go to longwoodgardens.org.
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