Native plant sale gives public tips on water conservation |

Native plant sale gives public tips on water conservation

Recycle Utah will host event

Gardens can be tricky, especially here in the Wasatch Back.

Linda Karz says the area's microclimate makes it difficult for residents wishing to have a green thumb, while using less water.

"The Snyderville Basin sits a little lower than Old Town, so you get the cold sinks of air and things like that which are unique to the area," said Karz, a volunteer at Recycle Utah. "Also, from year to year, the precipitation levels change up here. Some years, we get good precipitation, like this past winter. Other times, we don't. And that affects the microclimates as well.

"But what it boils down to is the microclimates in your yard is determined on how your house is oriented and where the wind comes from."

For nearly 15 years, Recycle Utah has hosted the native plant sale to help local residents figure out what water-conserving plants work well within each of these areas.

This year's sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 10, at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way.

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The goal for the sale hasn't changed overt the years, Karz said.

"It's strictly an educational event for Recycle Utah to continue the dialog of water conservation and not a fundraiser," she said.

The sale's format is intimate and informative.

"What that means is we typically sell out of plants each year because we aren't trying to compete with local nurseries," Karz said. "We do hope, however, the people who live here will request some of the plants we offer from the local nurseries to help increase their market."

All of the plants in the sale are provided by Wildland Nursery from Joseph, Utah. Owner Janett Warner will be on hand to talk with people about each plant.

"She has been providing the plants since we began doing the sale," Karz said. "That's great because she has been present at all the sales and has developed an understanding of what people are looking for and what plants have succeeded.

"Occasionally, she'll bring some plants up for people to try out in their gardens to see if they'll work in our altitude and climate up here."

This year's sale will also be highlighted by the National Audubon Society, Karz said.

The nonprofit is having a national convention in July in Park City and reached out to Karz about its new initiative called "Plants for Birds."

"Information can be found on the Audubon's website (," Karz said. "It's basically a new program that will help native songbirds, because they are
getting pushed out from habitats because of development.

"Plants for Birds" calls for people to take birds' habitats needs into consideration when designing gardens.

"People can put in trees, or bushes that are bird-friendly and the website has all sorts of plants that are good for birds," Karz said. "If you type in your zip code, you can learn about some of the top native plants and what types of birds like those plants."

Many of those plants listed will be offered at the plant sale.

"A lot are shrubs, because they provide a bloom in the spring and typically a fruit in the fall, so they provide a sustainable food source for the birds," Karz said.

In addition to giving tips to the public on how to provide food and shelter to native birds, the sale will teach people about the importance of water conservation.

"During the summer, we use something like 70 percent of our culinary water to water our lawns," Karz said. "Of course, some of the plants we sell will need water to get established, but if you look to the hillsides, you can see how green and beautiful they are without irrigation and water.

"If you plant the correct material and mulch, you will be able to ween your garden from using a lot of water."

The annual native plant sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 10, at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way. All plants are supplied by the Wildland Nursery from Joseph, Utah. Wildland specializes in xeriscaping (native planting), perennial plants, native grasses, drought tolerant plants and low maintenance landscaping. For information, visit