Wildflowers Revisited: Wildflower Gardening in Western North Carolina – a Talk by EMG Cindy Gilbert

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Master Gardener volunteer Cindy Gilbert

Master Gardener volunteer Cindy Gilbert

The study of wildflowers goes back to the early explorers and botanists who documented species found in the Carolinas. The likes of 18th-century botanists like Catesby, Bartram, and Michaux identified plants the Native Americans were using for food, medicine, and life’s essentials. Today we acknowledge past uses and are being enlightened about their place in the environment. There is a call for protection and greater knowledge. With the pressure of invasive species and the destruction of habitat, wildflower gardening finds its niche. The reinstatement of wildflower diversity in a garden makes pollinators happy and other wildlife benefits also.

There are over 3,000 different species of wildflowers in the state and over 300 species are found in Transylvania County. We live among amazing diversity because of changes in elevation, geology, relation to water, and orientation to the sun. At every turn, there is potential to re-create a unique place to garden with wildflowers. The talk is sponsored by the Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Transylvania County and is part of the monthly program of talks and demonstrations that will interest Master Gardeners, amateur gardeners, and the public at large.

Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteer Cindy Gilbert will cover the background of the wildflower movement and today’s residential challenges of what we call wildflower gardening. Depending on the timing, we can come face to face with delights that others have only seen in books and online. In her presentation, she will cover how to protect this great resource, how to prepare for a more successful wildflower garden, and discuss some of the pitfalls. She will give guidance in searching for resources of which there are many. All this is to build a personal list of desirable plants that are likely to fit in a variety of Western North Carolina regions. She will also cover important timing aspects of wildflower gardening. Design tips will be shared in a way to replicate Mountain settings. Cindy’s goal with this presentation is to encourage beginners in this challenging project and maybe inspire others to revisit wildflowers. As a special incentive to try wildflower gardening, the first 30 people to arrive for the program will receive a free package of native wildflower seeds.

The talk is sponsored by the Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Transylvania County and will be on Tuesday, August 8th, from 10 to 11.00 a.m.; doors open at 9.30 a.m. The talk will be held in the Community Services Building Conference Room at 106 E. Morgan St., Brevard. The public is most welcome and there is no charge. Telephone at 828-884-3109 for any questions.

Janet Lute, Master Gardener volunteer