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Native Plant Society Seed Library Offers Free Local Wildflower Seeds for the Ecologically-Minded Gardener: Seed Swap Event Coming Up January 13

The seed box is located right inside the entry way to the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Photo by Dr. Annkatrin Rose

Transform your yard into a wildlife sanctuary – starting with the base of the food chain.

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the North Carolina Native Plant Society has installed a seed library box at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens located at 651 Horn in the West Drive, Boone. Used to facilitate the Chapter’s seed swap on January 13, it will remain as a permanent installation for sharing wildflower seeds with the public. The box will be restocked for National Seed Swap Day on January 30. Interested gardeners are welcome to check it out and take some seeds to grow at home!

In keeping with the theme of the Society and Gardens, this new seed library will focus on wildflowers, shrubs and trees native to North Carolina. These plants form the basis of our ecosystem, attracting insects, birds and other wildlife that co-evolved with them. Seeds will come primarily from plants propagated locally by members or growing at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, ensuring their suitability for garden use in the climate of the High Country.

Inside the seed box.

“A lot of people seem to have discovered gardening during the pandemic and have been asking where to get native plants or seeds,” said Annkatrin Rose, Chair of the Blue Ridge Chapter. “That’s great to see the increased awareness of the importance of native plants! This box will allow us to share the seeds our members collect with those gardeners. Huge thanks goes to Debbie and Mike Bauer, who built and donated the seed library.”

Unlike many flower and vegetable seeds appearing in the stores at this time of year, native plant seeds can be tricky to germinate. “A lot of native seeds need to experience winter to break dormancy,” Rose explains. “The easiest way to do this is to sow the seed outdoors in late fall to early winter. Right now is the perfect time for them. If you start them indoors or wait until spring, you have to refrigerate them.” Instructions how to grow native plants from seeds are available along with the seeds in the box.

Rebecca Hutchins, chairperson of the board of the Daniel Boone Native Gardens said that “the Daniel Boone Native Gardens offer local residents and visitors many ways to learn about Native Plants. We think the convenience of having free seeds available at the Gardens will be useful to many who would like to try planting Natives. We are grateful to all those who have donated to make this opportunity possible.”

For more information about the seed box, please visit: https://ncwildflower.org/blue-ridge-chapter-seed-library/

About the Blue Ridge Chapter of the North Carolina Native Plant Society:

The mission of the North Carolina Native Plant Society is to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, propagation, and advocacy. The Blue Ridge Chapter in Boone is the newest chapter started in 2015. For more information see https://ncwildflower.org/blue-ridge/.

About the Daniel Boone Native Gardens:

Opened in 1963, the mission of the gardens is to protect and conserve plants in addition to educating visitors about native plants of North Carolina. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are located at 651 Horn in the West Drive, Boone, NC. The Gardens are always open. Donations are welcome. Suggested donation is $2 for adults and free for children under 16. For more information see https://www.danielboonenativegardens.org/.

The Daniel Boone Native Gardens gatehouse. Photo by Dr. Annkatrin Rose