To the Editor:
I am writing to encourage landscapers and home gardeners to ask for organic plants and flowers when purchasing this spring.
We all know the importance of insects in the food chain. The pollination process of plants and flowers is essential to growing most fruits and vegetables. When we buy organic plants for our gardens, we are protecting insects that are beneficial to our gardens from being poisoned.
Last spring, I found it difficult to find a garden shop on Martha’s Vineyard that sold potted plants or flowers that had been grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
While many shop owners do not apply pesticides directly, they purchase plants and seedlings ready for sale that have already been treated. Some shops use chemical fertilizers as well.
Since I was having difficulty finding organically grown plants, I bought eight four-inch potted nonorganic plants, and actually became ill from the pesticides while planting them in my window boxes. I thought, If I, an adult woman, am getting sick from the pesticides on these plants, what are those poisons doing to the pollinators and other beneficial insects in my garden?
If you have shopped at any of our garden shops here, you know there are many thousands of plants being sold each year. The chemicals used on each of those plants are being introduced to the delicate ecosystem of our beautiful Island and affecting our native species.
Ask your garden shop what their practices are. Look for organic plants for sale at the organic farm stands.
After my very toxic experience last year, I found a farm stand that sells organically grown and very beautiful flowers. Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury has a small selection of native plants each year.
When shopping, I urge you to ask for organically grown flowers and plants. It will encourage shop owners to purchase from organic nurseries, or better yet grow their own.
A garden that protects insects will flourish and will be a joy to watch over.