Celebrate the return of spring at the 12th Annual “Gardening for the Bays” Native Plant Sale on Saturday, April 30th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View. The native flowers, ferns, grasses, trees and shrubs for sale are the main attraction, but the event also offers guided walks on the trails, ‘how to’ demonstrations, exhibits, a children’s tent, and gardening advice from experts.
Sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), the event will host four nurseries selling thousands of plants for sun, shade, wet gardens and sandy soils, wherever your garden grows around the Inland Bays. Participating nurseries include the Inland Bays Garden Center, Roots Nursery and Environmental Concern all offering a full range of flowers, shrubs and trees, and Envirotech offering pond and wetland plants.
Early birds can show up at 8:00 a.m. for a bird walk led by Sharon Lynn of the Sussex Bird Club. In addition to our resident birds, Sharon expects to see and hear a few migratory species, “Late April is migration time, so we could also see Snowy egret, Spotted sandpiper, Forster’s tern, Clapper rail, Ruby-Throated hummingbird, Red-Eyed vireo, Wood thrush, and a few species of wood warblers.”
Get to know the trails, beaches and woods (and the plants and animals that live there) on trail walks led by Dr. Tom Lord, at 9:30 a.m. and Dr. Dennis Bartow at 11:00 a.m.
At 10:15 a.m., the Delaware Master Gardeners will present their tools and techniques for gardening accessibility; tips and tools that give gardeners the ability to “exercise their green thumb,” regardless of age or impairment. The Master Gardeners will be on hand throughout the sale to answer questions and share their experience and expertise.
Kids (and those kids-at-heart) are invited to explore nature with hands-on activities at the Children’s Tent. Grab a brush and help paint a rain barrel that will be used at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.
“Gardening for the Bays” t-shirts, gardening gloves and aprons, and one-of-a-kind bee houses will be on sale to support the work of the CIB. Rain barrels will also be available in a limited supply and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Good Earth Market will have breakfast treats and coffee for sale for early birds, and will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day, including organic hotdogs and the Gardening for the Bays traditional sandwich, organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber.
The Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale is an outreach education event of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays Watershed. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.