We’re Growing! At the NC State Fair

Several people installing a Native Plant sign
Newly designed signs will welcome visitors into the Native Plant Gardens. Amy Mackintosh, Ann Marie Gurney, and Bill Travers test a new sign mock-up on a post they just installed. Volunteers removed the old sign and post, weeded and relocated plants in the original garden. Photo by Jackie Trickel
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Jackie Trickel

I can’t wait for the fair to open on October 13. There will be new and exciting things to see in the Native Plant Gardens at the North Carolina State Fair this year. More demonstration garden space and a covered open-air booth are some of the changes we’re making to the permanent garden that the Margaret Reid (Triangle) Chapter of the NC Native Plant Society has maintained for 16 years.

We’ll see you at the fair

Volunteers planting in a native plant garden
Volunteers Margaret Partridge (front) and Tom Harville plant for the future. With new perennials, the adage is “First they sleep, then they creep, then they leap.” Photo by Amy Mackintosh

We’ll answer your native plant questions

When you come to the fair here’s what you can expect from us – have your questions answered by our welcoming volunteers; discover many new native plants in the gardens; hear a brief talk about the benefits of native plants nearby; learn along with your kids during one of our hands-on activities in our new garden area; check out all of our educational materials at our new covered open-air booth; and sign up to renew or become a new member. We’ll be there for you.

Sign up to volunteer

You may sign up right here to volunteer. With a bigger space comes the need for more volunteers. North Carolina Native Plant Society members from across the state are encouraged to sign up for a variety of opportunities including the 20-minute talk. Sign up right away for one or more available time slots for one of several  volunteer roles this year. Consider spending a three-hour shift welcoming fair visitors who want to learn the many benefits of North Carolina native plants.

Our garden volunteers have been hard at work preparing our new and old spaces at the NC State Fair. Thanks to our generous donors, thousands of fair goers will benefit from more opportunities for educational outreach and a larger and more bountiful garden area.

Man on a ladder pruning a tree branch
Many hours on specific tasks were spent by volunteers including Rob Trickel who pruned trees to allow more sunlight to reach the garden. Photo by Jackie Trickel
Volunteer watering a shrub
Amy Mackintosh keeps plants fresh for the NC Native Plant Society’s area at the North Carolina State Fair. Photo by Jackie Trickel

Several new areas take shape

Garden shed
Our “new to us” covered open-air booth will shout, “Plant Natives!” when we finish fixing it up. Photo by Jackie Trickel
Area of paving stones in a garden
A new area of pavers will encourage children’s activities and allow visitors to get a closer look at the plants. Photo by Jackie Trickel
Woman planting a native plant
A larger Native Plant Gardens at the State Fair benefits from more plants donated by NC Native Plant Society members. Here Jackie Trickel gives new plants a start. Photo by Rob Trickel

We have an opportunity to present 20-minute talks on the small stage area next to our gardens. Society members are encouraged to consider volunteering to give a talk about the importance of planting natives; a script and visual aids will be provided.

Plants in "whiskey barrel" planters
Large tubs planted with sun-loving natives will be scattered throughout both gardens for a refreshing splash of fall color in October. Photo by Jackie Trickel

Volunteers make the difference!

Group photo of the garden volunteers
We would not be as far along as we are without the many volunteers who have helped at our garden workdays once a week. From left are Tom Harville, Joan Schneier, Margaret Partridge, Amy Mackintosh, and (in front) Jackie Trickel and Ann Marie Gurney. Photo by Rob Trickel

It’s a whole new program this year and there are more options than in previous years. If you have not been to the Native Plant Gardens at the State Fair in the past, 2022 is a great year to start. We have a few more surprises we hope to reveal. Let us know what you think when you go! Follow us on the North Carolina Native Plant Society Reid Chapter Facebook Page. If you have any questions or ideas for us to consider, please contact Jackie Trickel at triangle@ncwildflowers.org.

By Jackie Trickel
Native Plant News – Fall 2022

Jackie Trickel

Jackie Trickel is a full-time grandma to three beautiful grandkids and an observer of all nature! Her passions include restoring native plants and the habitats they support with a special fondness for the longleaf pine ecosystem. She is education chair of the NC Native Plant Society and a member of the Margaret Reid (Triangle) Chapter; a Virginia Tech Hokie; a NC Certified Environmental Educator, and a retired assistant park manager with Wake County Parks.

Copyright © 2022 North Carolina Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.