The Essex Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey will hold a free open garden tour to see spring-blooming native plants on Saturday, May 15, from 10-2 at two locations in Montclair: 12 Godfrey Road and 265 Highland Ave.

The two locations showcase the variety of different flowers that bloom in a spring shade garden and illustrate how native plants can be used in any size property. 12 Godfrey is a small- to medium-sized garden and 265 Highland Ave. is a large half-acre garden. The blooming flowers and bushes are labeled in each garden and garden hosts will be available to answer questions.

There will also be a small plant sale at 12 Godfrey of three native plants that thrive in sun to full shade. Two of them are spring blooming flowers: Columbine and Heartleaf Golden Alexander. The third is Wreath Goldenrod, which was selected by the NJ Native Plant Society as the Garden Plant for 2021. Wreath Goldenrod blooms August through September, providing a late- summer burst of golden yellow in a summer shade garden, and is especially important for pollinators.

All native plants are easy-care and only require water during the first summer. They are small plugs for $3 each, cash only.

“With increased interest in gardening, we are excited to offer the chance to see beautiful spring native flowers in two different settings. Planting native spring flowers is an easy way to help endangered pollinators, who need nectar and pollen in the spring as well as the summer and fall. Unfortunately, typical spring flowers like daffodils, tulips, and irises, do not support our web of life because they are from Europe and Asia,” Deb Ellis, a co-leader of the Essex Chapter, said.

Wild Geranium group (Courtesy of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey)
Wild Geranium group (Courtesy of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey)