Gardening for life taking hold throughout the area – The Tryon Daily Bulletin

Gardening for life taking hold throughout the area

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

April is a month of anticipation and discovery. Polk County FFA students are selling flowers and vegetable plants but recommend planting after the soil has warmed, and the Gardening for Life Celebration on March 30 was a happening not to be missed. 

Jim McCormac’s presentation on gardening for moths was inspiring and confirmed that, yes, it is possible to garden for life—all life. Once native plants are established, the best thing to do is sit back, observe, and let nature take the lead. Of course, there is no way around the prep work of removing those pesky invasive plants.

According to McCormac and Doug Tallamy, the presenter at last year’s GFLP celebration, our penchant to clean up and tidy our landscapes, especially with the help of herbicides is often lethal to our native fauna. Fallen leaves can take the place of mulch; they also harbor caterpillars, larvae, all kinds of fungi, and shelter, among all the other creatures, overwintering adult moths. We depend on our pollinators for their life-sustaining activities. 

The trend toward planting naturalistic gardens has accelerated to the point where not only our small local nurseries but even garden centers and big box stores have added native plants to their inventory. Vendors at the Gardening for Life Celebration saw brisk sales, and the FFA ventured into the native arena with plugs provided by GFLP and nurtured in their greenhouse. The Conserving  Carolina speaker series recently featured Lisa Wagner, botanist, gardener and naturalist, with her program titled “Creating an Ecologically Sustainable Landscape.” Her advice is to look for inspiration toward natural plant communities in our beautiful conserved areas and parks. 

The concept of gardening for life, where all creatures are valued, is no longer an esoteric endeavor by a few devotees but has gone mainstream. Champions for Wildlife is reaching out to children. Their goal is to let the children experience and learn to love nature and the wonder of it all. For Earth Day on Sunday, April 28, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Tryon, Spriggly’s Beescaping will present a program on planting for pollinators. Questions and answers and a tour of the gardens will follow; all are invited. More Earth Day events are scheduled in surrounding communities. 

GFLP will continue to offer educational programs throughout the year. With all the resources right here the joy of discovering new wonders is just around the corner.  


Submitted by Christel Walter