Bedford Garden Club Offers Pocket Guide on Native, Invasive plants

Submitted by The Bedford Garden Club

The Bedford Garden Club has produced a pocket guide, “Native and Invasive Plants of Bedford, Massachusetts and the Surrounding Area,” that will be for sale in the coming weeks.

The Guide, tailored to Bedford but applicable to a much wider region, will be sold for $10 at the Club’s annual plant sale in front of the DPW Building, 314 The Great Road, on Saturday, May 11 (9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.), at the First Parish Church on the Common’s Plant Sale on Saturday, May 18 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), and at New England Nurseries, 216 Concord Road.

It also will be available for purchase at the Club’s program meetings. The next program, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 The Great Road (9:30 a.m.) and will feature a presentation by Mary Beth Hayes: “Create Your Own Cutting Garden.”

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The Guide is a 22” long x 8” wide plasticized sheet, printed in color on both sides and folded into a pocket size of 3¾” x 8”.  The front cover features lovely native Black-eyed Susans in one of Bedford’s islands that are tended by the Garden Club.

One side contains beautiful color pictures of 66 wildflowers, shrubs, and trees historically native to Massachusetts (i.e., pre-colonial) with great wildlife value that are hardy, well-behaved, and relatively deer resistant. Garden Club President Patty Carluccio said, “Because they evolved together, our local native plants support local pollinators, birds, and other wildlife in ways that introduced plants cannot. One of the best ways to support the planet for future generations is to grow and protect our native species.”

The other side of the Guide describes the 24 most problematic invasive plants in the area with color pictures of each. It explains why these invasives are such a menace and offers some suggestions for alternatives that might replace them. Additional commentary is provided on key elements of good wildlife habitat and what characteristics are common to the invasive species that outcompete and displace our native species.

Carluccio said the Bedford Garden Club produced the Guide for the home gardener and landscaper interested in selecting native species that promote biodiversity and perform well, and in learning which invasive species are the greatest concern.  

“The Guide is a powerful, user-friendly tool unlike any other pocket guide on the market because of its dual focus on both native and invasive species from the perspective of the home gardener and landscaper,” she added.Proceeds from the sale of the Guide will be used to fund the Garden Club’s scholarship and community programs. To learn more about the Bedford Garden Club, visit www.bedfordgardenclub.org.

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