Everyone wants to plant native plants. The advantages to growing native plants are many. These are plants that have stood the test of time. They're adapted to weather, climate, insects, diseases and even human activity. They provide habitat for pollinators, butterflies, birds and other wildlife and, sometimes, food for us. But finding a good, economical source for lots of these trees, shrubs, perennials, fruits and berries can be problematic.
Well, here's a tip. Each spring the Connecticut Conservation Districts have plant sales where you can purchase bare-rooted and container-grown native plants for growing in your yard. The plants range from seedling pines and spruce trees, to holly and mountain laurel shrubs, to blueberries and raspberries and even native ground covers such as bear berry. The plants may be small, but with a little attention, they'll grow to a full size.
The state is broken into five conservation districts with plants adapted to your region. There will be plants for seashore and riverbank erosion control, attracting pollinators, and providing food and habitat for birds and wildlife.
Most of these districts ask you preorder plants online for a late April or early May pickup, depending on the district. You may be able to buy additional plants on pickup day, too. Not only can you get quality, native plants at a good price, the conservation districts offer workshops and assistance in land stewardship and watershed and pollution management.
The Connecticut Conservation Districts are a good source for plants and information on how ecologically manage your yard. Find your district at www.conservect.org.