The 2020 FloraKansas Spring Native Plant Festival at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains will take on a different format this year because of social distancing measures being put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Though the Arboretum greenhouse will not be open to shoppers, Arboretum members and other Kansas gardeners are encouraged to place orders to be picked up in late April, around the time the in-person event would normally take place.


Orders can be placed through the "Contact Us" button at www.dyckarboretum.org. Orders placed by Arboretum members will be filled first, and then will be filled on a first-come, first served basis. Digital invoices will be sent to all customers for remote credit card payment or check, and a pickup time will be scheduled for late April.


"Just like native plants have adapted to thrive in difficult conditions, we are all learning to adapt to these new circumstances," said Arboretum office manager Janelle Flory Schrock. "One of the wonderful things about gardening with native plants is that there is so much we can learn from the ways that plants and pollinators have evolved to depend on one another. Nature is a great example of how interconnected we all are."


In the past, one of the highlights of FloraKansas for Arboretum staff has been the interaction with members and customers in the greenhouse as they share knowledge and ideas about landscaping with native plants. As a way to provide another outlet for this one-on-one consultation, customers are encouraged to email arboretum@hesston.edu with their questions or descriptions of their landscape. Arboretum staff will happily respond via email or phone and help with the ordering process.


"We hope that families who are spending more time at home right now will have the opportunity to enjoy planting a pollinator garden together," said Flory Schrock. "We also encourage those who are able to be outside in nature will look for creative ways to share the outdoors with family members or friends who need to remain isolated during this time."


FloraKansas is the Arboretum's largest fundraiser and it occurs once in late April and once in early September. The proceeds from the sale of plants help fulfill the Arboretum's mission to cultivate transformative relationships between people and the land. FloraKansas is made possible through the ongoing support of Dyck Arboretum's business partners, including AGCO Corporation, A Cut Above, Advanced Physical Therapy, Everence, Golden Plains Credit Union, Kairos Consulting and Counseling, LLC, and The Citizens State Bank.


For more information, contact the Arboretum office at 620-327-8127 or at arboretum@hesston.edu.