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Nov 3rd, 2021 (Article in newsletter, November 2021)

Native Plant Sale 2021

Barbara Eisenstein
As published on

DATE OF PLANT SALE: Saturday, November 6, 2021, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

NEW LOCATION FOR PLANT SALE: Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 E. Lemon Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016-3008

What a roller coaster the past year has been! After a long, hard year, I (and others) thought that the amazing vaccines would put this horrible pandemic behind us. And then along came the Delta variant. Argh!

Fortunately, working in my native plant habitat garden helped me stay on an even keel during this difficult time. And so it is with great happiness that I am writing to let you know that the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society – following a one-year hiatus – is planning to hold its annual native plant sale on November 6, 2021.

Plant sale to be on back patio at Monrovia Historical Museum

Located at the Monrovia Historical Museum

We are making some exciting changes to the sale this year. For the first time we will be holding the event on the lovely outdoor patio behind the Monrovia Historical Museum. All sale activity will take place outside, as to minimize any health risks we may face this fall. The large patio is framed by majestic coast live oaks, so you can browse, talk plants and stock up on your favorite California natives in a cool, beautiful and safe place.

We expect to offer approximately 2,000 plants, representing about 125 different taxa, comfortably displayed on the expansive patio. There is something for everyone! You can find a preliminary list on our website (, but please remember it may change depending on availability.

For Native Plant Novices and Experts

As I write this article, I am aware that I am addressing two groups of people. The first group already knows the great benefits of using native plants in their gardens. The second group includes those who are new to gardening or just new to gardening with native plants. It is this group that I would like to speak to now.

As mentioned above, it has been a rough year. The pandemic forced people to stay at home for months on end. One of the unexpected bright spots is that many people realized that their gardens can provide solace and comfort. Gardening boomed! If you are one of these people, you will not want to miss our plant sale. Not only will you find a broad array of plants to choose from, but there will be plant experts who would love to share their knowledge with you.

Author's front yard native plant garden

Be Part of the Solution

In addition to a world-altering pandemic, the news continues to be filled with reports of extreme weather events, likely caused or exacerbated by global climate change. California and much of the west is gripped by devastating drought and wildfires. This dismal news may make you wish to get into bed and pull the blankets over your head. However, there is a better course of action. Each of us can do small things that add up to big improvements. Your garden is a good place to start.

We can dramatically reduce our water consumption by gardening with California native plants. These plants not only require less water and other resources – fertilizer, pesticides, power machinery, and so on – but they also create healthy habitat for wildlife. The dilemma of the monarch butterfly is a case in point. Although this iconic insect will feed on nonnative milkweed, many scientists believe that native milkweeds are healthier because their life cycle coincides best with those insects with which they coevolved. A further example of the benefits of gardening with native plants is the lively presence of birds, butterflies, lizards and a myriad of beneficial insects.

Shoppers select plants at an earlier CNPS SGM native plant sale

You Will Not Find These Plants in Big-box Stores!

Growing native plants is not a sacrifice. California is home to a remarkably diverse flora, offering something for every growing condition. At our plant sale, shoppers will find pretty flowering plants for patio containers, aromatic herbaceous plants, large shrubs and trees to fill open spaces, and everything in between. Volunteers with experience growing natives will be happy to help you select the perfect plants for your garden. Take advantage of rebates for replacing water thirsty lawns with low water-use natives by purchasing plants at our sale.


It takes a lot of people to make the plant sale a success and there are a variety of ways to participate, regardless of your gardening experience. We encourage you to spread the word with friends and neighbors. Post and share our posts announcing details of the sale by word of mouth and on social media.

For those seeking more involvement, the day prior to the sale volunteers unload and arrange the plants, and set up tables and chairs. The day of the sale is exciting and busy. People with plant knowledge help shoppers select the best plants for their gardens. Others provide food for the volunteers, write purchase slips, direct and assist shoppers, work as cashiers, haul plants to customer’s cars, and clean up at the end of the day. It is a team effort, but there is always time to take a break, chat and make new friends with like-minded folks. Members and non-members are welcome. Check our website for more details on how to get involved, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Volunteer helps load shopper's car at native plant sale

Support and Protect California’s Spectacular Flora

California Native Plant Society is a statewide non-profit organization of amateurs and professionals with a common interest in California’s native plants. Its mission is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants, and to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, horticulture, and advocacy.

Proceeds from our chapter’s plant sale support outreach, education, annual research grants, and conservation projects that increase our understanding of our native flora, especially here in the San Gabriel Mountains and Valley, and preserve this rich resource for future generations.


The 2021 Annual Plant Sale is presented in partnership with the City of Monrovia. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Canyon Park Volunteers.

The CNPS-San Gabriel Mountains Chapter would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers and the following organizations for their support and sponsorship:

City of Monrovia
Monrovia Historical Museum
Artemisia Nursery
Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills
Pasadena Audubon Society

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