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M R et cetera, LLC
December 1, 2022
Gift cards to M. R. Gardens
Do you have friends or family new to Western North Carolina who are interested in native plants? Consider a gift certificate to your local nursery: 
Available at:

Your yard can be certified
Pollinator and Wildlife Habitat
Wild Birds Unlimited in South Asheville would like to make you a Song Bird Hero! In conjunction with National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat program, Wild Birds staff will place your name on their Song Bird Hero board at their store and give you a Save the Song Birds T-shirt once you certify your yard. In addition to planting natives, here's some more tips on how you can support bird populations. 

Asheville GreenWorks can also certify your yard as a Pollinator Habitat through its Bee City USA program. These signs help your neighbors better understand what you are up to, and perhaps get them excited about creating wildlife habitat. Check out the ones at the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension beautiful pollinator beds at the Learning Garden
Learn more about creating pollinator habitat on Asheville GreenWorks' extensive website. If you live close to Hendersonville, Bee City also has a program through Bullington Gardens.
Creative gift ideas: Support the organizations that support local nurseries
Many local organizations and businesses have helped M. R. Gardens tremendously this year by listing local nurseries on their websites, sharing info about our open houses on their social media, and advertising our name as part of their community plant shows. In addition to the ones listed above, please consider the following when you're in the giving spirit this season. Most of these organizations take donations, and some offer volunteer opportunities. We provided links here to their native plant resources pages if they have them. 
The North Carolina Arboretum
The Botanical Gardens at Asheville
Blue Ridge Audubon Society
NC Native Plant Society
Conserving Carolina
North Carolina Botanical Garden
French Broad Garden Club Foundation
Montreat Landcare
Asheville Herb Festival, especially one of its sponsors Red Moon Herbs
Marshall Native Gardens 
Cullowhee Native Plant Conference
Xerces Society (We'll be on their nursery list soon)
Retailers like BB Barns often send customers our way
Our local news outlets often include news about native plants and our plant shows:
AVL Today, which offers memberships
Mountain Xpress, which you can support various ways
Small community newspapers, especially in response to Visit NC Farms press releases 
We're probably forgetting some so if you know of anyone that is promoting native nurseries, pollinator plants or ecological landscaping, please let us know! Many thanks to all of these organizations and businesses.
Potential in the native plant industry
Some thoughts from Megan, M R Gardens owner
Demand for natives has increased dramatically, especially during the pandemic when many were at home gardening. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of wildlife habitat, especially for pollinators and other beneficial insects. (Plus they’re realizing how fun it is to watch these beautiful, interesting flying things multiply in their yards). Yet the native plant industry is very much at its infancy in comparison to other horticulture traditions. There is a tremendous opportunity for research, support systems, networks, products, training programs and robust marketing efforts. Take a moment to visualize what it would take for native yards and ecological landscaping to be the norm.
It may seem like a big feat considering universities and retailers are often designed to cater to a quite different landscaping mindset. But I do think that with technology, change can happen quickly. I’m typically a late adopter to technology, but I’ve witnessed how platforms like Square and online groups like Asheville Plant People can really boost a business. Plus people are becoming more familiar with what’s in their local ecosystem with apps like Seek by iNaturalist. It makes me wonder if someday there might be an app for native nurseries to market their products—making it easier for small nurseries like this one to get to our customers.
I was excited to recently receive a message from Cammie Donaldson at the Native Plant Horticulture Foundation, who is researching the native plant industry as part of a USDA grant. In conjunction with Oregon State University, they are sending out a survey to nurseries to inquire about our needs. I’m quite certain that other nursery owners have ideas like I do, so I’m eager to see the survey and its findings. I recommend taking a look at their website as it spells out the challenges we face quite well, while also offering some solutions.
M R Gardens Owner Megan Riley. Photo by Lisa Kruss
Plant Spotlight: Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa
One of the showiest goldenrods. A feathery plume of dense pale to deep yellow flowers top an attractive red stem. Goldenrod is extremely important to the ecosystem because it provides nectar for visiting insects in the fall when most other plant life is shutting down. Showy forms a clump and is not as aggressive as other rhizomatous goldenrod species, unless in very fertile soil. Blooms throughout fall. Full to part sun. Medium to dry. Space: 2 feet; Height: 5 feet. View online.

We plan to offer additional species of goldenrod in 2023 including Sweet Goldenrod, S. odora. We focus on species of Solidago that tend not to spread rapidly in the landscape since plenty of those species already exist naturally in many Western North Carolina landscapes. If all goes well, our online store will be updated with new stock by early February.
Photo of Showy Goldenrod at M R Gardens by Vickie Burick Photography. 
M R Gardens on Instagram
We've been a little slow increasing our social media presence as we attend to all the needs of a small farm and nursery — but we're getting there. :-)
Please connect with us on our new IG profile @nativeplantsasheville
Have a wonderful season!
Thanks everyone for a great year! Score for native plants and all the critters that depend on them — including people! We all benefit not only from their beauty, but from the countless ways that the complex ecosystem interlocks them to our health, survival and prosperity. Sending you blessings as you enter a new year and continue to dream about your landscape.

By Bird Thaller, CC BY 2.0
In the Oakley community of Asheville
828.333.4151 (voicemail - not text)
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M R et cetera, LLC  •  441 Onteora Blvd.  •  Asheville, NC 28803

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