The Camden Public Library is co-sponsoring the “Camden Native Plant Celebration & Sale — A Wild Seed Project Member-Run Event” to be held on the grounds of the Camden Amphitheatre Sunday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will be an opportunity for the public to learn from experts about native plants and how to incorporate them into their gardens.

Native plants create color and interest in a garden, as shown here with New England Aster. Photo by Amy Thomsen.

Plants will be available for pre-sale online, to be picked up Sept. 18 in the parking lot adjacent to the Amphitheatre. The plants are from local native plant nurseries and are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and neonicotinoids. Once established in the right environment, natives are low maintenance and normally do not require watering, fertilizer, herbicide, fungicides, or pesticides.

Pre-sales for plants begin Sept. 4 via the “Camden Native Plant Celebration & Sale, a Wild Seed Project Member-Hosted Event” Facebook page. A link to the Facebook page and all of the participating vendors and organizations can be found at librarycamden.org. Presales will be provided by four nurseries: 5 Star Nursery, Blue Aster Native Plants, Honey Petal Plants, and Native Haunts.

Additional nurseries, including Crystal Lake Farm & Nursery, Rebel Hill Farm, and Rooted Elements, will have a selection of native plants, related books, and other goods available for purchase in the Amphitheatre on the day of the event. Environmental nonprofits with booths at the event will include Audubon Project Puffin, Camden Garden Club, Camden Street Shade Tree Volunteers, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, Megunticook Watershed Association, Merryspring Nature Center, and the Stewardship Education Alliance. Native plant experts will offer 10-minute informational talks in the Amphitheatre at 9, 10, and 11:00 a.m. and will also be on-hand to answer questions.

Experts will be giving talks at the event, including a discussion about how to “rewild” your property. Photo by Amy Thomsen.

This event is part of the Camden Public Library’s ongoing celebration of Fredrick Law Olmsted Sr.’s 200th birthday. Considered by many to be the father of modern-day landscape architecture, Olmsted’s firm oversaw the design of Camden’s iconic Harbor Park, noted for its utilization of native plants, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Together with the Library’s Amphitheatre, designed by Fletcher Steele (and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013), the two parks are champions of native plant and garden design.

The celebration will also include music; children’s activities; a cake-cutting ceremony officiated by Rachel Bok Goldman; and plein-air painting by Midcoast artist Carol L. Douglas, as well as finished paintings of native plants by several of Douglas’s students.

The event will be held rain or shine. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will benefit the Camden Public Library. This event has been organized in partnership with Amy Thomsen, restoration ecologist; and Cayla Mäki-Pittman, Master Gardener, Harmless Gardens.