Long before the Swannanoa Valley was populated by the first white settlers, it was thick with majestic chestnut trees, tangled with rhododendron and bejeweled by forest flowers. As the land was developed to accommodate an ever-expanding population, the indigenous flora has abated.

From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29 the Montreat Landcare Committee’s Native Plant Sale will give visitors a better understanding of native plants and the advantages of using them.

The native plant sale takes place annually on the Moore Center Field, just beneath Lake Susan. This year’s event will feature coffee from Dynamite Roasting Co. and access to information about planting and caring for a diverse range of vegetation.

Joining organizer Linda Hobson and the landcare committee for the event this year is the Buncombe Master Gardeners, a group of volunteers that provides “current research-based urban horticultural information,” according to the N.C. Cooperative Extension program website.

The master gardeners are just some of the “native plant experts” participating in the event, according to Hobson, organizing the event for the second year.

“The Firewise program, from the N.C. Forest Service, will be there to do a presentation on protecting your property from wildfires,” she said. “Which will be very apropos.”

Appalachian Creek Nursery, In-Site Out Design, Professional Landscape Solutions and Ten Thousand Villages will participate in the event as well. They’ll be joined by Tom Ross, operator of Fairview’s High Country Nursery since 1998.

The retired meteorologist’s nursery specializes in “unusual and unique”…