Midlands December Native Tree & Shrub Sale

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The Midlands Chapter celebrates South Carolina’s December Arbor Day with a sale of native trees and shrubs selected to thrive in our region. Plan now for what you can get into your landscape when woody species are dormant–the best time to plant them.

Come shop beautiful native trees and shrubs that are especially beneficial to birds, insects, and other wildlife. From shade trees to showy fragrant azaleas, you’ll find a great selection. (P.S., They make meaningful holiday and commemorative gifts!)

Most are priced at $20 or $25 for 3 gallon pots.

Also on hand: native plant books from local indie seller All Good Books, and SCNPS hats, shirts, and tote bags!

This one-day sale will be at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home in downtown Columbia.

Saturday, December 2, 2023
1705 Hampton St., Columbia, SC

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Volunteers shop early at 9 a.m.
  • Members of SCNPS and Historic Columbia shop early at 9:30.
  • Open to the public at 10 a.m.

Seeking volunteers! Help us unload and set up plants Friday, Dec. 1, and during the Saturday sale.
Email [email protected]


Check out the plant list. (Subject to change)

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SCNPS 2023 Annual Meeting

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South Carolina Native Plant Society Annual Meeting and Symposium

Saturday, November 4, 2023
9 am – 4:30 pm

Saluda Shoals Park, The Environmental Center at Saluda Shoals
5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212 (Map)

Register here. Tickets $30

This in-person event will bring together plant enthusiasts, botanists, and nature lovers from all our chapters. Visitors are always welcome.

For travelers, find a list of hotels and local activities below.

Agenda (See detailed agenda below)

  • Begin the day with a guided nature walk highlighting native plants in this fabulous Midlands park.
  • Annual business meeting. Elections will be held, and updated bylaws will be presented for an approval vote.
    Find the list of candidates for the State Board here.
    Read the proposed bylaws here.
  • Lunch with friends from around the state
  • Presentation by Dr. Charles Horn on his recent botanical research
  • Keynote presentation with a panel of individuals responsible for preserving the land that became Congaree National Park, and those who are key to expanding the protected area surrounding the park boundaries.

Saturday Field Trips Following the Meeting (See detailed descriptions below)

  • Guided walk to see the natural wetland plants at Saluda Shoals Park
  • Saluda Riverwalk: Powerline Demonstration Garden and Nature Walk:
    Hear about our surprising collaboration with Dominion Energy to re-imagine their list of plants suitable for planting under power lines: now all native! The Midlands Chapter received a grant to create a garden to demonstrate how homeowners can use the list to create wildlife-friendly habitats. After a brief discussion at the garden, Midlands Master Naturalist, Midlands Chapter Board Member, and former City of Columbia park ranger, Bailey Parker, will lead a nature walk along the river. Meet at the Saluda Riverwalk, 650 Candi Lane, Columbia, SC

As the sun goes down, we’ll all meet up at a local watering hole.

Sunday Field Trips
Begin at 10:00 a.m.

Visit state and national record trees in Congaree with John Cely
John Cely, wildlife biologist and author of several books on the Congaree National Park and Cowasee Basin, will guide a walk to state and national record trees in Congaree, South Carolina’s only National Park. The hike will last 2-3 hours and cover about 4 miles. Dress accordingly and bring water and snacks. Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitors Center, 100 National Park Rd. Hopkins, SC.

“Bird’s eye view” of the Park from Congaree Bluffs
Clay Parker, President of Columbia Audubon, and Kathy Boyle, retired DNR biologist and local expert, will lead a 1.5 mile ramble on the recently-protected Arant Tract in Fort Motte, SC. This property was placed in a conservation easement and acquired by the National Audubon Society in July 2023. It is home to some of the most stunning views of the Congaree floodplain. The 150 foot sheer cliffs on the southern bank of the Congaree River make for unique habitat. Plants that are rare in the Midlands seem to thrive here due to the microclimate created by the cliffs. Things like Comandra umbellata, Campanula divaricata, and Rhododendron eastmanii have been observed on or near the cliffside. While it might be too late in the year to see all of these species in their full glory, this walk will give you a chance to see why this place is special for plants and animals. The trail difficulty rating is moderate (logging roads with elevation changes) and the total time will be about 2-3 hours depending on how briskly the group wants to move. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this conservation tract that is typically not open to the public!

All field trips are free with registration. Sign up as you register for the symposium and check at the registration table for maps and other important information.

You can read here about the 20-year project to catalog Saluda Shoals Park plant species, now a Special Collection on wildflower.org at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, UT-Austin.


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Seeing Daylight and Cleaning Water at Columbia’s Hyatt Park

A man speaks to a group of people on a boardwalk at the head of an artificial stream.

Todd Martin, landscape architect for the City of Columbia, introduces Midlands chapter members to the revitalized Hyatt Park stream. Photo by Lynn Yenkey

The Midlands Chapter toured Columbia’s Hyatt Park last week with Todd Martin, landscape architect for the city. The recent park renovation “daylighted” a stream, removing 1150 feet of stormwater pipe to open up the water and mimic a natural creek. Martin showed the group the stream banks engineered with stone and a mix of native herbaceous and woody plants. The result echoes the nearby Smith Branch stream. In just a year, cattails and native willows have volunteered, too.

A group of people stand by a group of logs in a streambed. A man points downstream.

Todd Martin, landscape architect for the City of Columbia, points out bioengineering features of the stream, including logs that mimic a beaver dam at Hyatt Park. Photo by Lynn Yenkey

A series of pools and small dams, including large cedar logs to make an artificial beaver dam, slow and spread out storm water.

Now, instead of charging through a pipe unchanged, the water spreads in the shallow banks, slows down, and is allowed to absorb into soil and roots, along with pollutants and sediments. The change was visible: compared to the more turbid pools close to the storm water inlet, the water in the larger basin at the end of the stream is clearer and cleaner–improving the quality of water flowing into the Broad river and Columbia’s drinking water system.

Martin handed out photos of the former stream bed–a series of manhole covers–plans for the bioengineered banks and pools, and a list of native shrubs, trees, and seed mixes used. He kindly allowed us to share them here.

A group of people stands near a streambed at Hyatt Park in Columbia

Todd Martin shows Midlands chapter members the native planting bed below the splash pad above the stream at Hyatt Park in Columbia. Signs describe the project for visitors. Photo by Lynn Yenkey

The project team worked closely with the Hyatt Park Keenan Terrace Neighborhood Association on their goals for the park, and identified a gathering space as a strong priority. The renovation includes a naturalistic play area on the hillside between the stream and community building, adjacent to a new amphitheater for events. In warm weather, families can cool off at a splashpad at the amphitheater’s base, with water flowing from there into a wide garden bed and into the stream. In the open field downhill, large sections of the former water pipe form hillocks and a natural play space.

You can read more about innovative project, featured in Landscape Architect magazine in 2022.

A similar stormwater management project in Columbia parks finished in 2020 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Columbia’s Five Points. Read more about it here. At Page Ellington Park in the Bull St. development, 2600 feet of stream was daylighted, and ponds created to make wetland habitat in a nature-based city park.



Midlands Spring 2023 Native Plant Sale



Come find the native plants that feed pollinators and birds, and bring some nature home! Shrubs, perennials, grasses, and vines are selected to thrive in the Midlands.

 Get the plant list here. Prices range $3-$20. Pay with cash or credit. BYO wagon is ok.

In addition to our sale plants, two local vendors will be here: Sal’s Old Timey Feed & Seed and Native Plants to the People. Chapter member Clay Parker has grown a variety of milkweed species (and more) just for the sale. There will be a great selection for a variety of soil and sun conditions!

It’ll be a festival atmosphere with food, art, and books for sale! Read more below.


Friday, April 14, 2023 6:00 pm until…
Members-Only Happy Hour and Early Sales
Bring your beverage of choice and come hang out, shop, and enjoy MNPS-provided snacks by the river.

Saturday April 15, 2023
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Final set-up and training morning volunteers
9:30 am – 10:00 am: Open to members
10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Open to general public


Canoeing for Kids HQ
114 Riverchase Court, Lexington SC (MAP)

Food, Art, Books, Birds

Get a bite to eat from The Wurst Wagen. Find plant-based art from Candace Thibeault. Buy a native plant book from Columbia’s independent shop, All Good Books. Get a bluebird house and conservation info from Columbia Audubon Society.

Volunteers Needed

Set up on Friday, April 14 and during the sale!
Volunteers can purchase plants early. Contact [email protected] to sign up or with questions.

  • Set Up Crew unloads plants from delivery trucks, places them according to a map, and installs plant signs on Friday during the day.
  • Cashier and Tally work together at the checkout to count up plants and prices, run credit cards, make change, and provide receipts.
  • Information Table hands out brochures and discusses how to learn more about native plants
  • Plant Helpers use wagons to move plants and will be assigned a list of about 5 plants to read up on and be ready to answer customer questions.

Midlands Fall 2022 Native Plant Sale

Friday, October 14, 2022
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. open to volunteers and members of SCNPS and Historic Columbia Foundation
3:00 – 6:00 p.m. open to general public

Saturday, October 15, 2022
10:00 am – 3:00 pm open to general public


Historic Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia
(Enter parking lot on Henderson St. between Blanding and Taylor, or park on nearby streets)

Click to see plants for sale.

Historic Columbia Foundation is using more and more natives in their landscaping, so you can see some of the sale plants in established beds.

Questions about the sale? Contact [email protected].
More details coming soon about speakers and demonstrations.

Click to join or renew your SCNPS membership.
Click to join the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Volunteers needed for set up the afternoon of October 13 and the morning of October 14, and during the sale. Volunteers will be able to purchase plants early.
Contact [email protected] to sign up.

Please plan to pay by credit card. Wagons are ok.

Midlands Chapter Works with Dominion on New List of Suggested Native Plants for Under Powerlines

Midlands Chapter member Trish Jerman discovered that Dominion Energy’s list of suggested trees for under powerlines contained mostly nonnative and even invasive species, so she contacted them and offered our assistance to revise it with native plants. Happily, they were open to the idea.

Trish gathered a small working group to research native trees and shrubs with high wildlife value that also meet Dominion’s height restrictions.

The new list is now available online. You can learn more about Dominion’s policies on their Trees, Trimming, and Powerlines page. (The list is under “South Carolina FAQs”).

Trish and the group are now working with Santee Cooper and reaching out to electric cooperatives on their suggested plant lists.

Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale March 25-26, 2022

The Midlands Chapter will host its spring plant sale March 25 & 26, 2022, at the Historic Robert Mills House in Columbia.


We are once again partnering with the Historic Columbia Foundation, which will offer tours of the grounds. You’ll get to see some of the same natives offered at the sale growing at Robert Mills House gardens. Tours begin at 4:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am on Saturday.
In addition, SC Native Plant Society members will stage educational demonstrations during the sale.

New this sale: Sal’s Old Timey Feed and Seed will join us to offer great natives for sale.

Interested in volunteering and getting an early look at the plant selection? Please contact [email protected].

Questions about the sale? Contact [email protected].

Please plan to pay by credit card. Bring a cart or wagon if you think you might be tempted to get more than two hands can hold.

Location: Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia
(Enter parking lot on Henderson St. between Blanding and Taylor, or park on nearby streets)

Friday, March 25, 2022:
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. open to volunteers and members of SCNPS and Historic Columbia Foundation
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.  open to general public

Saturday, March 26, 2022:
9:00 am – 4:00 pm open to general public

Click to join or renew your SCNPS membership.

Click to join the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Midlands Fall Native Plant Sale, Oct 29 & 30

The Midlands Chapter is excited to host its first native plant sale, and honored to partner with Historic Columbia Foundation during their fall sale.
Historic Columbia is actively working to replant many of its gardens with native species. They are generously sharing space at the Robert Mills House with SCNPS for this sale, so shoppers can select from both groups’ plant offerings.

See a list of plants available for sale.

Location: Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia (Enter parking lot on Henderson Street between Blanding and Taylor or park on nearby streets)

Friday, October 29:
9:00-9:30   volunteers only
9:30 – 10:00   members and volunteers
10:00 am – 4:00 pm   general public

Saturday, October 30: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Note: Thursday, October 28 is reserved for Historic Columbia Foundation members only. To join, visit https://www.historiccolumbia.org/support/membership

Please plan to pay by credit card and mask up when you can’t stay 6 feet apart. Bring a cart or wagon if you think you might be tempted to get more than two hands can hold.
For questions or if you’re interested in volunteering (and getting an early opportunity to shop) please contact [email protected].