Native plants for sale 

native-landscapeAn aster is an aster, a coneflower a coneflower, but not so fast.

Will and Natalie Gibson are pushing old native plants, as in the varieties that were in Kansas City at least 200 years ago.

They will have the last of their pop-up plant sales this weekend on a vacant lot just west of the Longfellow neighborhood community garden near 30th and Harrison streets.

There will be about 75 native plants for sale, Will Gibson said, but not the kind that most garden stores sell.

Most sold are cultivars, plants that have been bred to eliminate or add traits.

“We don’t sell cultivars,” he said, and their plants “are what belongs here – they’re what was here naturally.”

Much of Kansas City is in an area called the Scraped Osage Plain, he said, and people have brought in new plants that have pushed old ones aside.

Their Green Thumb Gardens at 16010 E. 85th St., which they operate along with a landscape design business, is working to restore the native plants.

Others are doing the same, like the Kansas City Native Plant Initiative, which includes groups as diverse as garden clubs, cities, counties and KCP&L.

The native plants mesh with the soil better and can help cities control water run off and reduce mowing costs, Gibson said, among other benefits.

He started the pop-up sales in late April to get the word out on native plants, he said, and hopes to open a retail location for them later.

The last of those sales this weekend will be in conjunction with the garden tour put on by Cultivate Kansas City, which includes the Longfellow garden.


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