Vegetation education |

Vegetation education

Utah has never been known to have rain forests or experience torrential rain that fills the soil with inches upon inches of rain throughout the year. Yet, some here, plant their gardens and yards as if they lived in the Pacific Northwest, according to Insa Riepen, Executive Director of Recycle Utah..

The Utah Native Plant Society and Recycle Utah will attempt to alter Utah’s skewed view of their foliage opportunities by holding its "Spring Native Plant Sale" today from 9 a.m. to noon at Recycle Utah, located at 1951 Woodbine Way.

It will not merely be a fine place to purchase the gamut of hardy, healthy, Utah-flourishing vegetation, but an education experience as well, Riepen says.

"Part of the plant sale is education," said Lola Beatlebrox, member of the Recycle Utah staff. "Here we have a desert environment. People are out there planting trees or plants that need more water than the area can handle."

Expert green thumbs will be on hand to answer any questions the ambitious gardener may have.

"In conjunction with the sale, the Plant Society will answer any questions," Riepen said. "These are all native plants that are grown here and acclimated to the lousy Utah soil. There will be education going along with it. There will also be examples of noxious weeds that need to be pulled."

A wide variety of native shrubs from Wildland Nursery in Southern Utah will be available, including: one- and five-gallon size chokecherry, golden currant Apache plume, fernbush, oakleaf, sumac, and native hawthorne. Perennial native plants that will be available include: Rocky Mountain penstemon, brilliant penstemon, hyssops, golden columbine, and creeping Oregon grape.

"Xeriscaping (using plants that flourish in desert environment) and water-smart gardening is becoming the trend for Summit County residents," Riepen said. "They want their landscaping to blend with the natural environment. These shrubs and perennials are accustomed to weather extremes. They thrive in the soil, windy and dry conditions of our desert environment."

Not only will these plants put less of a tax on local water, but they will look good as well.

"It will make your gardening look great and your gardening easier," Beatlebrox said. "This is when you will have these plants available all at once with really knowledgeable people that know how to care for it, and where to put it."

The education part of the event will cover more than just these plants. Zone planting will be discussed. People will learn how to locate the most thirsty plants and teach where one can use ground cover other than grass.

"Grass needs a lot of water, so you will learn about stones, pavers, and mulch," Beatlebrox said.

Recycle Utah will not benefit in anyway from the proceeds of the sale.

The sale will also teach people about composting and taking care of proper waste.

"It’s the saver of what you throw away," Beatlebrox said. "Kitchen scraps and grass clippings in a composter will create a natural fertilizer. Recycle Utah is about zero waste. The most important thing you don’t want to put into trash is hazardous waste. We collect that for free twice a year."

The event will focus its education on water conservation and green building– healthy living building. The type of building that preserves natural resources and environment such as floor in bamboo, which protects unnecessary cutting of large heathy trees. It also will touch on building to avoid allergies, such as types of carpet that harm good, clean air. It will teach how to build without overusing resources, using solar power in homes and alternative products like using recycled newspaper for insulation.

This is the fourth year the Native Plant Sale will take place. The sale takes place twice a year, once in the spring, or early summer and once in the fall. Recycle Utah is the local community recycling center. The organization recycles all kinds of glass, plastic, newpapers, office papers, items with mercury thermometers. It also has a program to accept e-waste. It cam accept printer cartridges, cell phones and batteries. Useful coupons for making additional purchases will also be available. For more information, contact Insa Riepen at Recycle Utah, 649-9698.

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