Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Master Gardener Plant Sale

Gardeners who look forward to the annual Jefferson County Master Gardeners Fall Plant Sale will be happy to hear the rain should have passed and the weather should be good for the sale this weekend.

Fall is a great time for planting. It gives trees, shrubs and ornamentals time to develop good, strong root systems before spring, when most of the plant's energy is concentrated in producing new foliage and blossoms.

The sale is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. out at the MG test garden at the airport in Nederland. Parking is free.

Shopping for plants sometimes is a hit-and-miss proposition. Unless you read labels carefully and do your homework before you go, you can end up with a beautiful plant that will take a nose dive when the Southeast Texas heat and humidity hit it. That's not the case with this sale. Phyllis Smith, plant sale chairman, said gardeners can rest easy. Every plant sold this weekend was chosen for its suitability to Southeast Texas. Some, like select varieties of citrus, are Texas SuperStars.
"We have a wide variety of things people will be looking for, including unusual and uncommon garden plants. We focus on getting things that are different from the everyday plants, but are zoned for Southeast Texas weather," Phyllis said.

Here's some of what will be available this weekend:
Shade and ornamental trees (including Trident maple and the Chinese Pistache tree which provides wonderful fall color), shrubs (mayhaws, azaleas, banana shrubs and assorted flowering shrubs that will continue blooming into winter), citrus (lemons, satsumas, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, kumquats), a few cool-weather herbs, bulbs (red spider lilies, crinum, canna) and roses, all chosen for fragrance, including a few Peggy Martin roses. New this year is clumping bamboo (not the running bamboo that can be invasive).
The sale also will have some home decor items. The Master Gardeners booth will be open for questions, as well as selling its cookbook ($15) and copies of Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac ($20).

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