Backyard Association

'Gardening with Native Plants' is May program

by Staff Reports

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Submitted Photo

Jim Rodgers has been gardening and propagating native plants for more than 30 years.

“The Benefits of Gardening with Native Plants” will be the focus as  Jim Rodgers of Nearly Native Nursery speaks at the Backyard Association meeting on May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Coweta County Extension Office on Pine Road.

The monthly meetings are organized by the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, who work with the Coweta office of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.

Rodgers has been gardening and propagating native plants for more than 30 years. Although he has some formal training in botany and landscape design, most of his knowledge is self-taught through fieldwork, textbooks, and gardening. He has been involved in many plant rescues and reclamation projects and is very knowledgeable on the subject of native plant identification, species habitat, and propagation.

Rodgers owns and operates Nearly Native Nursery, a walk-in retail and mail order business in Fayetteville that specializes in native trees, shrubs, palms, and perennials for low maintenance landscapes that will attract native wildlife. Nearly Native Nursery supplies native plants to many botanical gardens throughout the U.S., including Mt. Cuba Center in Maryland and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

Rodgers’ love for educating has blossomed into a passion that is evident at his nursery, which has been an outlet to reach more of the public who are interested in education and gardening with native plants, say the MGEVs.

A Native Oasis Botanical Garden is Jim’s latest ongoing project. This 1.5-acre garden is in the beginning stages and is fast becoming a home for specimen displays and experimental gardens. This is a small but intensely planted garden, as diverse as any garden in the country.

He also has had a passion for wild animals and keeps a few tropical parrots and 20 or so native snakes that are all on display for public viewing and education. He shares this passion with many sectors of the public, speaking to many school groups, scout organizations, master gardener groups, native plant groups and garden clubs throughout the Southeastern U.S.

The Backyard Association, sponsored by Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs), is a free seminar held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Coweta County Extension Office located at 255 Pine Road in Newnan. Call the Extension Office at 770 254-2620 for reservations and to register for door prizes.




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