Here's a cool idea. The seed company Botanical Interests has rolled out a line of seeds called the Botanic Garden Series. Their idea was to work with botanic gardens to identify native flowers that were in danger of disappearing, and to offer those seeds for sale as a way of repatriating them. Holland's Hortus Bulborum has done something similar: they cultivate and sell rare bulbs in the hopes that scattering them in gardens around the world will act as a kind of insurance policy against their own gene bank getting wiped out.
Here's what Botanical Interests has to say about their new collection:
Plant species are
constantly being lost throughout the world as a result of habitat loss,
climate change, pollution, insect and disease problems, and even
over-collection. Botanical Interests is very pleased to be working with
botanic gardens throughout the U.S. to protect species that are rare
and endangered or may become so if not maintained. As gardeners we can
feel good about adding these attractive, adaptable treasures to our
gardens. By planting them, we become responsible stewards of the
environment and give a gift back to nature.
The series includes asters, alliums, penstemons, salvias, and any number of other such lovely things. There are fourteen varieties in all, and Botanical Interests is giving away the complete collection some clever GardenRant commenter. Tell us about the rare, endangered, or simply beautiful native you'd most like to see included in a collection like this, and all fourteen varieties will be yours to try.
Winners announced next week–be sure that in your comment you leave a way for us to contact you, or check back next week to see if you've won! Good luck.