Native plants series being offered by CIB

One way to go green and stay there is to plant native plants, as opposed to non-native species that can take more water, more energy and more work than their native counterparts. To elaborate on the benefits of going native, the Center for Inland Bays – in addition to their 5th annual Native Plant Sale at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View, which will be held May 16 of this year – has organized a series of presentations, all of which will focus on the benefits of using native plants when gardening in the inland bays watershed.

Coastal Point • Submitted: A swallowtail on a Joe Pye Weed.Coastal Point • Submitted
A swallowtail on a Joe Pye Weed.

“Gardening for Native Birds and Butterflies” will be held on Tuesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at Good Earth Market on Route 26 in Clarksville. Sue McDowell, an environmental scientist and ecologist from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will share her ongoing interest in birds, bees, butterflies, and will highlight rain gardens as an opportunity to capture stormwater and create habitat and food sources for pollinators. McDowell will entertain questions about “going native” in residential back yards. The presentation will feature plants for every environment – from wet, shady uplands to salty coastal dunes.

“Rain Gardens for Backyard Habitats” will be presented by Jason Beale on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Millville Town Hall on Route 26. Beale manages the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center for the Delaware Nature Society. Millville Town hall has been home to a demonstration rain garden since the fall of 2007. When the entire project is completed, they hope to have rain barrels, and a demonstration buffer along the tax ditch that flows at the back of the property. At this presentation, participants can learn how they can certify their own backyard habitat.

Chantal Bouchard of Nature Design Landscape and Rick Gentile of Bethany Beach Gardens will present “Designing your Garden with Native Plants,” to be held on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at Good Earth Market. Bouchard, a trained horticulturist, is well versed in coastal Delaware’s native plant species and helped create the native plant demonstration garden at the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. She will speak primarily about the “unusual natives and hearty plants” for the coastal climate. Gentile, a U.D. grad and landscaper with years of experience, is the current owner of Bethany Beach Gardens. He will speak primarily about designing with native plants.
Coastal Point • Submitted: Above, a bee feeds on Milkweed.Coastal Point • Submitted
Above, a bee feeds on Milkweed.

The Center for the Inland Bays asks that interested participants come with questions and be prepared to make a list of plants to buy at the “Gardening for the Bays” Native Plant Sale on May 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. All presentations are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call Sally Boswell at (302) 645-7325 or e-mail


CIB goes native
Gardening for Native Birds and Butterflies
Tuesday, April 28, 7 p.m.
Good Earth Market
Route 26, just west of Route 17

Rain Gardens for Backyard Habitats
Wednesday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Millville Town Hall, Route 26

Designing your Garden with Native Plants
Thursday, May 14, 7 p.m.
Good Earth Market
Route 26, just west of Route 17

Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale
Saturday, May 16,
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
James Farm Ecological Preserve

All events are free.