Buy a plant and save water
June 12, 2012
Recycle Utah is known for its mission to educate the public about environmental issues and water conservation is large chunk of that pie.
So, to help raise awareness of the issue, Recycle Utah board member Linda Karz and executive director Insa Riepen began holding native plant sales 10 years ago.
"We wanted to provide people the opportunity to buy plants that are appropriate for our high-desert climate for their landscapes," Karz explained in an interview with The Park Record. "We wanted to educate people about these draught-tolerant and native plants so people wouldn’t have to use irrigation or tap into the city’s water supply."
Karz said she believed if she and Riepen created a demand for the plants, the local nurseries would be more apt to carry them.
"That has happened to an extent at the Park City Nursery, because they have a larger selection of native plants than they used to," Karz said.
The Annual Native Plant Sale will be held at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way, on Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. until noon.
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The sale will feature plants from two growers, WildLands Nursery and Sun Mountain Growers.
"The sale is not a fundraiser for the Recycle Utah," Karz said. "The plant growers are selling direct to the public. We just facilitate the event and provide the venue."
Flowering plants for sale include penstemons, native columbines, globemallows, yarrow, and native geraniums.
"I love penstemons," Karz said. "Penstemons come in 80 different varieties and are native to Utah. They spread and thrive and it’s a great plant for the garden."
The globemallow is another one of her favorites.
"It has a beautiful salmon-orange color and we have a beautiful globemallow plant at Recycle Utah," Karz said. "It doesn’t need water, in fact, it hates you when you do water it."
In addition to the perennial flowers, the sale will include shrubs oakleaf sumacs, fernbushes, apache plumes, cliff roses and netleaf hackberry.
"The oakleaf sumac is a low-growing shrub that has a beautiful fall color, while the Apache plume has a whispy seed pod that catches the sunlight," she said. "They all typically grow a little more slowly because they don’t need water and they don’t have to be fertilized."
Karz said these plants are perfect for places that need to conserve water.
"To have a beautiful garden that doesn’t tap the city’s resources is an important part of living in this community," she said.
The annual native plant sale will also feature a group of volunteers that will give tips about what types of plants to choose for particular neighborhoods.
"Interestingly, Park City is full of microclimates and that means different plants do better in different areas," Karz said. "So, these volunteers will ask where the people live and give them suggestions.
"We do have a lot of people who come and talk with us, and some of them do leave with a car full of plants," she said. "I think they like the opportunity to chat with folks about how the climate here is so different than other places in the country."
When people ask Karz how plants survive without water, she tells them to look at the hillsides.
"Those plants don’t get any extra water and they are still so beautiful," she said. "It’s just a matter of taking those plants and bringing them into our gardens. You can have beautiful gardens without having to use irrigation."
Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way, will host the annual native plant sale on Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. until noon. For more information, visit http://www.recycleutah.org.