Welcome to the GSWA Plant for Pollinators Program
The Great Swamp Watershed Association’s 3rd annual, online Plant for Pollinators Native Plant Sale will once again provide a full selection of attractively priced native perennials and simple guidance for planting delightfully alive pollinator gardens that will thrive with minimal care. The Native Plant Sale is operated with the promotional support and volunteers from our Community Plant Sale Partners that include 16 local towns and 8 non-governmental organizations. Our joint goal is to foster broad adoption of native plant gardens across our area to create necessary habitat for the pollinator insects and bird communities that are foundation elements of our local ecosystem – pooling our private yards to create what the popular lecturer and entomologist Doug Tallamy describes as a Homegrown National Park™.
To request ongoing email updates and reminders about the GSWA Native Plant Program, CLICK HERE
How It Works
- Selection – Peruse the native pollinator plant kits and individual species add-ons in the GSWA 2023 Native Plant Catalog.
- Need Guidance? Take advantage of the new and improved Native Garden Resources to assist in your planning and gardening decision.
- Sign Up for All Four Talks – Go to the Native Pollinator Plant Webinar Series registration page. Individual plant webinars and their full descriptions are available on our Events page.
- 2023 Ordering – The Plant Sale will open for online ordering from April 3rd to April 28th. We encourage you to decide early by previewing the full Native Plant Catalog. The shoppable version of the catalog will be available on 1:30 PM April 3rd.
- How Do I Pick Up My Orders? Order are to be picked up locally at your town’s participating location. At time of checkout, you can choose from one of the 13 locations to based on the location, date and time that works best for you. Preview the 2023 Pickup Locations made available through our 2023 Plant Sale Partners (Subject to change).
- Have More Questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions section on the Gardening Resources and Native Plant Sale FAQs. Other questions about plants or garden designs should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, Technical inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
Enjoy spring to fall blooms and amazing butterflies and other pollinators beginning this summer and for many years to come!
Why Native Plant Gardens?
Our yards have the power to provide critical habitat for threatened bird and insect populations and also provide us with beautiful flowers to enjoy. Create your own important part of the region-wide network of yards that support a sustainable ecosystem – a Homegrown National Park™.
Finding a good selection of locally appropriate native plants for your garden can be difficult. We make it easy for you by providing a selection of native plants suited to our local soils and climate (our local ecoregion).
Why is a native plant more appropriate than an exotic or non-native plant? Wildlife may eat the fruit and seeds of exotics or non-native plants but it does not mean that their nutritional needs are fully met. Pollinators and other wildlife co-evolved with native plants and require them for food and habitat across their entire life cycle. Pollinator insects require native plants to lay their eggs, feed their larva, and to provide a continuous sequence of blooms to meet adult insect requirements from nectar and pollen. Most insects evolved to have some degree of specialized host plant requirements. For one extreme example, Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars completely depend on milkweed. Healthy insect populations are a foundation of the food web. Birds and other wildlife require large volumes of protein-rich insects in their diets in order to reproduce and also native seeds and berries to get through the fall and winter. A classic study of Chickadee reproduction (Naranjo) found that suburban neighborhoods required 70% or more native plants for the birds to be able to raise their young. Native plants are the ONLY choice to sustain the ecosystem.