CAMDEN – Restoration ecologist Amy Thomsen will discuss why using native plants in landscapes and the benefits of gardening with them at a free Camden Garden Club talk on Thursday, October 27, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
The hour-long lecture is open to the general public and will also be streamed live on Zoom from Camden American Legion, located at 91 Pearl Street, Camden. Refreshments will be provided and guests are welcome to attend in person or join for free from home by registering in advance for the Zoom link here.
In his talk, Thomsen will discuss how cultivated plants provide little ecological value to wildlife and replace value-added natives. She will also discuss where to source safe cultivated native plants and provide criteria for selecting safe natives.
“Benefits of gardening with native plants include: saving money and water, better adaptation to local weather conditions, reduced maintenance, restoration of natural habitat, and no fertilizers or pesticides “, Thomsen said in a Garden Club press release.
The popularity of native plants and interest in gardening with them has taken off in recent years, according to the Camden Garden Club, which supported the first-ever Camden Native Plant Sale last September at the Camden Public Library. The Wild Seed Project member-run event was founded and run by Thomsen in conjunction with more than half a dozen local native plant nurseries and more than a dozen like-minded organizations. It was the first event of its kind and attracted hundreds of local residents interested in native plants.
Thomsen has been practicing ecological restoration for over 10 years and is in her second year at her Camden residence where she sits on the conservation committee of the Camden Garden Club. She earned her master’s degree in Native Rangeland Management and Ecological Restoration from Texas A&M, interned at the Wildlife Habitat Federation and served briefly as a staff ecologist before striking out on her own with Gone Native Ecological Restoration Services which works with private landowners creating vital habitat for wildlife. using native plants as a base.
Thomsen is an accomplished ecological educator, having taught gardening with native plants, ecologically sound beekeeping, ecological restoration, and ecologically responsible seed collection, storage and planting.
Maine’s oldest garden club, the Camden Garden Club cultivates the art of gardening in all its glory, develops and preserves beauty in and around Camden, and promotes civic improvements, education, and natural resource conservation . They are currently welcoming new members interested in joining. For more information, visit camdengardenclub.org.