KINGSTON, R.I. – April 11, 2018 – The University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program will hold a spring plant sale on May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and a “plant of the year” chosen for its attractiveness to pollinators.
The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the URI Botanical Gardens on Upper College Road in Kingston.
“Our spring plant sale is replacing the spring festival we sponsored for many years in an effort to focus our energy on fundraising in support of the good work of the URI Master Gardener Program,” said Kate Venturini, program administrator for URI Cooperative Extension. “Proceeds from the plant sale will fund demonstration gardens and school gardens throughout Rhode Island, as well as our gardening hotline, Ask a Master Gardener kiosks, free soil pH testing events, public educational presentations and more.”
The plant of the year that will be on sale is cardinal flower, a plant Venturini calls “a beautiful perennial native to Rhode Island that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators with its nectar.”
In addition, the Master Gardeners will also sell a “system” of 10 drought-tolerant native plants that are intended to be grown together in full sun and which bloom from June until the first frost. Included are 1 little bluestem, 3 butterfly milkweed, 3 New England aster, and 3 Gray Goldenrod. The plants support 57 species of pollinators, birds and other beneficial insects.
“Both the plant of the year and the native plant system are being sold to reflect our land stewardship focus area, which has us focusing our educational efforts on increasing habitat value for pollinators and other forms of wildlife through 2019,” said Venturini.
For more information about the spring plant sale, contact the URI Mallon Center at 401-874-2900.