Saturday, Jan. 28th, 9am – 12 pm, 1235 Deslonde St., Lower 9th Ward, NOLA Hosted by Lower 9th Ward Homeownership Association and Neighborhood Association
Sunday, Feb. 5th, 10am-1pm, 615 Opelousas Ave., Algiers Point, NOLA. Hosted by Algiers-Berhman Community Garden
Saturday, Feb. 11th, 10am-12pm, 1855 Duels Street, 7th Ward, NOLA. Hosted by Healthy Community Services
These great community partners are helping us with the next three Native Plant Giveaways! We will be distributing two of our favorite species of native flowering plants, Cardinal flower and Lemon Bee Balm.
Cardinal flower will grow in part shade and likes plenty of moisture. It loves rain gardens or just plain wet areas of the landscape and hummingbirds LOVE it. Cardinal flower is a short-lived perennial, meaning that it will come back year after year for a few years, but not forever. This plant relies on the re-seeding of it's many very fine seeds for its longevity. If happy, it will produce offspring in addition to the original plant for a long time in your garden.
Lemon Bee Balm, Monarda Citriodora, is a favorite with all sorts of pollinators and people too. It blooms in the Spring for a long period of time and will set lots of seed that produce offspring the following year. It likes a normal garden in a sunny area.
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is indeed saving the galaxy with the native Wildflower seeds of Clasping Coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis). The Vampiric Council of New Orleans sub-krewe will be handing out these one of a kind treasures during the parade on January 28th. They containing NPI-donated seeds of Clasping Coneflower, one of the easiest and earliest native wildflowers that we can grow here. If you were lucky enough to receive these gems from your local parading vampire, simply scatter your seeds onto the soil, or into your garden in a sunny spot as soon as possible and enjoy the beautiful flowers and many pollinators that will visit them!
The French Market Creole Tomato Festival honors Louisiana's produce, farmers, and our unique cuisine of which the Creole tomato is a star. Tabling at this fest was a great fit as we honored our unique native plants by giving away seeds and educating folks about their importance. It was a blast as you can see from our smiling volunteers! Thanks to the volunteers who helped table the event. Contact NPI if you are interested in tabling or volunteering for other projects!
"Lawn is an ecological deadzone" says Doug Tallamy and yet it is the default option for so much of our landscaping. This year's NPI exhibit at the NOLA Spring Garden Show, April 2nd and 3rd, will focus on ways property owners can reduce or eliminate their lawn area and replace them with native plantings that benefit the ecology. For a more in-depth look at this topic and some of the alternatives to lawn, read THIS ARTICLE. We hope you will also see us at the show!
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a tree planting initiative created to celebrate British Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee this year in 2022. The campaign invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” to create a legacy in honor of the Queen’s 70 years’ leadership of the Nation - trees which will benefit future generations.
The program publishes a Queen's Green Canopy Map where you can record the location of your Jubilee tree. But the Queen’s Green Canopy is on another map too…..the New Orleans House Float Map!
Native Plant Initiative member, Tanya Mennear, registered her home on General Pershing in uptown New Orleans with the Krewe of House Floats early on with the grand notion of a Green CanopyNOLA style. The results are a quirky blend of British patriotism, environmental education and New Orleans funky. Where else can Big TREE-da be seen hanging out with Her Royal Majesty, William, Kate, Charles and Camilla - all looking on cheerfully from the upper balcony, having clearly just come back from the parades.
This hand-crafted exhibition expounds upon the many reasons to plant trees in New Orleans: suitability to climate “they weather our weather better,” stormwater management “they TREE-tain water,” heat island remediation “Who Dat TREE gonna beat that heat?,” improve air and ground water quality “that’s fil-TREE-tion,” wildlife benefits “wildlife is PINE-ing for native plants,” mental health “sit and be seden-TREE”, property values “plant like your Flood Insurance depends on it!”… and don’t just plant trees, plant native trees! Other placards include the impressive numbers of insects (in the hundreds) supported by native trees like red Oaks, Swamp Red Maples and Mexican Plums versus non-natives like Crape Myrtles, Rain trees and Bradford Pears (in the single digits) and QR code chains with links to local organizations and information to help with your tree plantings.
Acorn-y jokes aside, native trees have so many benefits to our lives and the environment we live in, Harry and Megan agree that “it’s harm TREE-duction” to get busy and plant our streets and city with the many native trees that thrive here.