Blue Week is just around the corner

Blue Week begins in just a few days, and it’s offering you the chance to add some northwest Ohio flare to your garden.
Blue Week begins in just a few days, and it’s offering you the chance to add some northwest...
Blue Week begins in just a few days, and it’s offering you the chance to add some northwest Ohio flare to your garden.(wtvg)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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WHITEHOUSE, Ohio (WTVG) - Thousands of plants are going to be up for sale next week, and it’s all to increase and bring back that native population of plants, and your yard back to its roots.

Kerri DeShetler is the nursery crew leader at Blue Creek Seed Nursery for Metroparks Toledo. She said of the annual Native Plant Sale: “I expect that this year is going to be really big.”

Metroparks Toledo has them throughout all 19 Metroparks: native plants.

DeShetler explains, “These plants have evolved in this region. So, a lot of them are tolerant of drought. More tolerant than a lot of ornamental plants.”

Keeping a more-native landscape is becoming popular in our area. Deshetler said she can see that trend with the growing popularity of the Native Plant Sale.

In addition, she credits education for that uptick.

“I think our local organizations do a fantastic job of getting out the message of how important it is for everybody who has space in their yard to do their part and encourage our native pollinators [and] the benefits of having native plants in your yard,” Deshetler said.

“Oftentimes, Metroparks will get requests from people who would like to purchase plants from us,” Deshetler tells 13abc. “We don’t sell plants normally, so this is kind of our one-time-a-year when we grow plants specifically for sale.”

The sale is a staple of Blue Week.

Brittani Furlong, a specialist with the Green Ribbon Initiative, said Blue Week is a celebration of all things blue.

“We’re celebrating all the blue things that are starting to emerge. Blue Week is a week-long celebration of the Oak Openings region. We celebrate during May because at this time, the Wild Blue Lupine is blooming, and the Wild Blue Lupine supports the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly,” Furlong said.

She added that it’s a labor of love for her to be involved in a program like the Green Ribbon Initiative.

“I grew up here in NW Ohio, and I learned about the Oak Openings region once I got to college,” Furlong explains. “And I fell in love with it there. And I just want everyone to know about it.”

“The Oak Openings is a globally unique habitat. It supports a wide variety of endangered and threatened species,” said Furlong.

You’ll be able to contribute to our unique corner of the world and the Native Plant Sale and choose from more than 4,000 plants of 55 native species next weekend.

“They’re all plants that are grown from seed that we’ve either collected from the wild or propagated right here at Blue Creek,” says DeShetler. And she adds, “They’re really good to have around your vegetable gardens too because when you’re attracting pollinators, you’re oftentimes attracting other insects too that are going to eat the pest insects.”

If you like a garden that can fend for itself, these plants are for you. Deshelter explains, “Most of them are perennials, so you plant them, you take care of them for a few years, and then you can kind of just let them go and do their own thing.”

This year will be the first year since the pandemic that shoppers will be able to interact with sellers and the plants in person, rather than a drive-thru pickup process.

And she warns: “We are going to try to have a credit card machine here. But I would definitely bring cash, if possible. I think that will help the process go a bit faster.”

Proceeds from the Plant Sale will go to the Green Ribbon Initiative, Wild Ones, and those who grow and care for the plants.

Blue Week runs May 16-22. It includes family and kids events.

The plant sale is happening next weekend, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.

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