Mel the new owner of Derby Canyon Natives, with her daughters Willa and Rosalie.

Editors Note: Derby Canyon Natives is a favorite plant nursery among Wenatchee Outdoors team members due to the vast array of plants native to Washington State that they sell and the knowledge base that the staff members at the nursery hold. Derby Canyon Natives has wonderful nursery grounds with demonstration gardens and a beautiful backdrop of mountains.

Derby Canyon Natives is under new ownership as of January 2022. Melissa (Mel) Asher, is the new owner and manager. She was born and raised in Michigan, and after graduate school she moved to central Washington to begin her career as an ecologist. She has worked for various agencies and private sector firms, including BFI Native Seeds since 2004.

Mel has shared a passion for native plants since her first field botany class in college. Learning the names of native plants and figuring out why they grow where they do lead to an interest in seed collection, propagation and landscaping with natives. She has worked at a native plant nursery in Michigan, ran a greenhouse study during her graduate work, and has worked in native plant restoration for the last 12 years at BFI Native Seeds.

Derby Canyon Natives demonstration garden area.

Mel states “there is nothing I enjoy more than talking to people about native plants and sharing my experiences growing them.” Mel will be running the nursery with the help of her husband Rich, daughters Willa and Rosalie, along with long-time nursery team members Juan and Jeff. She notes she has “incredibly big shoes to fill, but luckily Ted (the previous owner) will be around to advise us for the foreseeable future. We appreciate your patience and grace as we make this transition.”

Derby Canyon Natives.

The current operating schedule is to be open for retail sales on the first weekend of the month, Friday and Saturday, from 9AM to 5PM. Scheduled dates for spring include: May 6-7, and June 3-4. They will also accept phone and email orders for pick-up on Fridays continuing through June as well.

For more information or to view plants for purchase, visit their website by clicking here.

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