The Joy of Spring and Native Plants!

Ahhh! There are abundant signs of Spring around us at last! We look forward to seeing the lovely flowering wildflowers and native flowering shrubs associated with Garry oak ecosystems. We have been busy spreading mulch at the newly adopted Native Plant Garden in Oak Harbor. Planted by Melissa Duffy and members of Harbor Pride in the 90’s when the largest Garry oak in town towered over the Post Office, but in recent years the Grand Old Oak was lost and the garden languished. The Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society committed in late 2016 to preserve and enhance the native plantings, and oversee the care of the young Garry oak saplings. Weeding and mulching has taken place in the garden. We would like to thank Pioneer Tree Service for their cheerful help in providing several dump truck loads of complimentary mulch for the site. Now our volunteers are busy planning where to place/replace native plants. Special thanks to the Pacific Rim Institute for their incredibly generous donation of many new native plants for the garden! Did you know that there are three young Garry oaks growing near the stump of the once-iconic Post Office Garry Oak? Check it out! We are still working on the details of the native plantings. Native Plant Appreciation Week is April 22-29.

This is the time of year when people want to get out and garden. We recently enjoyed a successful outreach to the public with our informative and eye-catching booth at the Whidbey Island Gardener’s Workshop offered by the local WSU Extension. We were able to meet and network with other Islanders and some off-Islanders, too. We passed out our newly published informational brochure and fundraised through donations/sales of oak seedlings and Garry oak wood items.

OHGOS has other upcoming plans which include building protective cages for vulnerable young oaks, planting several Garry oak seedlings with the Midway School Horticulture Class (at a site visible off Highway 20 behind the OHPS Administration building) and making a presentation about our group to the noon Rotary Club. For any of these events, as well as our monthly general meetings, we welcome you.

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