Fall FloraKansas Native Plant Festival set for Sept. 11-13

Special to The News
Kansas gardeners shopped at FloraKansas in May of this year while observing physical distancing and masking policies.

The 2020 FloraKansas Fall Native Plant Festival at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, which will take place Sept. 11-13 in Hesston, invites Kansas gardeners to purchase from a huge selection of native and adaptable plants from the Arboretum greenhouse and to explore the benefits of native plant gardening in fall.

To help make plant selection easier, Arboretum staff curated three convenient garden kits made up of some of the most popular FloraKansas plants. These kits include a Rainbow Kit for continuous bloom and varied color, a Short Stuff Kit for a landscape that needs lower growing species, and a Monarch Waystation Kit, which provides host plants, nectaring plants and shelter for the monarch butterfly and meets the monarchwatch.org guidelines for Monarch Waystation certification.

"Fall is a great time to observe the migration of the Monarchs, and to learn about all the ways we can help them, and all pollinators, by planting native," said Katie Schmidt, Arboretum grounds manager and horticulturist. "Here in Hesston, we generally see the peak of migration around September 25th."

Following a remarkable response to a combination of online ordering options, curated garden kits, and distanced in-person shopping in the spring, Arboretum staff are planning to repeat a similar format for the fall FloraKansas event.

The greenhouse will be open for distanced in-person shopping on Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for members only, and for the public on Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. Physical distancing and masking policies will be observed.

Kits and other plants will be available for online ordering to Arboretum members through Member Day on Sept. 10. On Sept. 11, online ordering will be made available to the general public at dyckarboretum.org/arboretum-event/florakansas-fall/. Once an order has been gathered by Arboretum staff and set aside for in-person or curbside pickup, a digital invoice and pickup instructions will be sent to the patron.

FloraKansas is the Arboretum's largest fundraiser and it occurs once in late April and once in early September. The proceeds of the sale of plants help support 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.

A ribbon cutting for the new Monarch Waystation at the Cedars Retirement Community in McPherson brought attention to the importance of creating habitat gardens in our region to encourage biodiversity.