Mayslake Plant Sale continues to grow
Tommy Ristau (left) helps his father, Richard, pick out a sweet joe-pye weed during the DuPage Forest Preserve District's Native Plant Sale at Mayslake Peobody Estate. | Photos by Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:45AM
The unusually warm spring provided the best weather ever for the annual Native Plant Sale at Mayslake Peabody Estate, which was buzzing with eager gardeners this weekend.
As the primary fundraiser for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s education department, the Plant Sale provided an opportunity to purchase plants indigenous to the county, support local programs and receive advice from Forest Preserve District staff.
Retired florist and LaGrange resident Joyce Cincer stopped by and picked up a bag full of liatris flowers as she prepared to work on her very large garden at home.
“It provided a lot of flashback memories,” she said of visiting the sale. “(The flowers) are a little different than what I had in the shop.
“I figured ‘What the heck, I’d never seen these liatris flowers before.”
Lombard residents Ken and Jay Wojcik sought the advice of Forest Preserve staff as they have had difficulty planting in the shade underneath large trees at their home. The duo left with a witch-hazel and spice bush plants.
“It really solved a big problem for us,” Ken said. “We’re happy they did this at the Mayslake Peabody Estate. This is a magnificent facility.”
Underneath two large tents on the front lawn of the Peabody Mansion were 120 different native species of plants available for sale. In addition to Forest Preserve staff, representatives from the Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter assisted in garden-planning for individuals seeking advice.
“Most people came over with their box of plants and asked how to plant them in sun, shade, moist or wet soil,” said Wild Ones Chapter vice president Pat Armstrong, who was busy sketching garden plans for guests most of Friday.
The two-day sale was off to a fast start Friday as a sizable amount of plants had already been sold by noon. Education outreach manager Marcy Rogge said last year’s sale raised $11,000 and all indications are this year’s sale will surpass that.
Bellwood resident Darlene Wiktor and her son, Kyle, shopped to complete work on a native plant garden Kyle had started at home.
“I prefer native plants more than anything else,” Kyle said. “They’re beautiful and they help the environment by attracting butterflies and birds.”
Mother and son have attended the sale for several years and were prepared for this one, walking away with three large bags of plants.
“This time we knew what we wanted,” Darlene said. “It’s a great sale and it’s for a great cause.”