If you think about it, a plant sale is a lot like a church potluck dinner. You never know what you’re going to have, the good stuff goes fast, and you get to try new things. And it’s all homemade, except for the tubs of fried chicken.
Our Sarah outdid herself organizing the Demonstration Garden’s annual plant sale on May 22, held each spring when the Demonstration Garden volunteers host the Master Gardener monthly meeting. The speakers giving announcements didn’t start until 11:30 a.m., but the early birds were scrambling long before that for the best deals.
And what deals they found: About 33 bright cardstock plant tags in Elizabeth’s calligraphy hovered over the “Have to Have It Plants” like Purple Coneflower, Lyre Leaf Sage, and White Autumn Clematis. “Garden Standbys” like Rock Rose and Red Yucca enticed shoppers. And then there were the “You Don’t Find That Very Often Plants” including horseradish, Jewel of Opar, and Rose Campion.
Of course, garden advice was dished out with each purchase. Want hummingbirds? Flame Acanthus must be in your basket. Malabar spinach? Well, it’s sort of like spinach, but it will take hot weather.
Now you don’t just decide to have a plant sale the week before. This is a multi-month process for our Sarah to keep up with. In March, eager plants are divided and seeds started. Then nursemaids take these little guys home to pamper them. Gardeners also raid their own yards for contributions. We even had many lovely plants donated by a friend of the Demonstration Garden, Master Gardener Margaret Burnette. Then there’s the “I Don’t Know Exactly What’s Coming In” factor, as Sarah was inundated days before the sale with last minute “I’m Bringing….” emails.
This was a Plant Sale with added attractions. Shoppers could also bring home some of the Demonstration Garden’s magical compost or worm castings. Cindy has the knack of coaxing compost out of a mound of clippings and leaves, and shoppers knew to stock up.
It’s a year until the 2015 Demonstration Garden Plant Sale Extravaganza, and I’m already making my shopping list.
Pictures by Starla