BERLIN — If you want to purchase native plants, delicious heirloom tomatoes, peppers and a variety of herbs for your yard or business, join the Assateague Coastal Trust for the Annual Native and Heirloom Plant Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 7.
It is the day before Mother’s Day and therefore offers the perfect solution for those looking for last minute gifts for mom. The festival runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is held at 9931 Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin just off the intersection with North Main Street.
Native or indigenous plants are those that naturally occur in our coastal and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. Using native plants will increase the chances that the plants will thrive in your yard, as they are suited to our soils and climate. Using native plants reduces the amount of water required and therefore cuts back on the amount of excess water that runs off yards and into bays during rain events.
In addition to increased water use, traditional lawns and gardens require high maintenance and receive large inputs of pesticides and fertilizers. When it rains, lawn chemicals find their way into local creeks and ditches and have impacts in the coastal and Chesapeake bays. Native plants are able to make better use of rainwater than typical lawn turf. They are also better at trapping and removing nutrients and pollutants so that they do not run off into our bays.
A fringe benefit of the native plant garden is that local and migratory wildlife use native plant species for food, cover and rearing young. When manicured lawns are replaced with a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers, these plants provide habitat for a variety of butterflies, bees, and birds. Native plants help preserve the balance and beauty of natural bay ecosystems.
Supplies are limited so get there early to ensure a good selection.