April 17, 2008

By Helen Boatman, Victoria County Master Gardener

Edited by Charla Borchers Leon, Victoria County Master Gardener
Also known as oyster plant, “Moses-in-the-boat” gets its name from the small flower it blooms in an appendage shaped like a shell or a boat. It is drought and freeze tolerant in this area with muted green spear shape leaves that have a purple underside. It grows in mounds and makes a colorful border in landscaping.  There will be a large number of this plant at Saturday’s sale.
Are you ready?  Are you set?  You are if you have ever been to one of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association’s plant sales.  Now that special day for which you have been waiting since the last sale is day after tomorrow, April 19, beginning at 8:00 A.M.  If you have never been to one of our sales, we hope you will give us a visit.  You’ll be surprised and amazed at the diversity of plants we have available.  Be sure to set your alarm to wake early so you can get out and be one of the first to grab the special plants we offer!  But sorry, no sales before 8:00 a.m.!

Where is the Sale?
The sale will be at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Drive, located on the Victoria Regional Airport property, across from the newly renovated control tower.

Where do we get the plants?

Our greenhouse crew has been busy growing many wonderful plants. The building is just about bursting at the seams! These master gardeners have taken great care to bring to you fresh, healthy plants, ready to thrive in your garden.
Many of our members have also been growing plants at home, both from seeds and cuttings.  Some plants come from heritage plants, or plants that have been in families a long time and are difficult to find in the commercial industry.  Other members grow native plants, which are sometimes difficult to find commercially.

Variety of Plants
I’ve walked through the greenhouse many times to see the variety of plants that will be available to you.  It is a glorious sight to behold!  There are annuals, perennials, grasses, ferns, succulents & cacti, vines, bulbs, tropicals & houseplants, vines and vegetables available.

Some of the plants are listed, not in any particular order: red-bird cactus, blue plumbago, white plumbago, magella perilla, dracaena margenata and aralia (the last two being very nice indoor plants), zinnias, marigolds, verbena, Texas star hibiscus, Chinese lantern, sweet basil, dark opal basil, German chamomile, Roman chamomile, lemon basil, cinnamon basil, pineapple mint, Italian parsley, cilantro, cosmos, broad leaf sage, orange mint, hot & spicy oregano, elephant ears, and crotons, as well as tomato and other vegetable plants.

There are some nice hanging baskets of verbena, pothos, heartleaf philodendron, Moses-in-the-boat, red and yellow ice plant, peppermint and begonias.  There should also be available softleaf yucca,  (you don’t have to worry about those sharp points like most yuccas) and red yucca, a wonderful native plant, as well as the in-land seaoats.

More Plants
Also available should be society garlic, flame acanthus, cigar plant, autumn sage, artillery fern, staghorn fern, Mexican love vine, as well as the purple passion vine and hyacinth bean vine.  We should also have firecracker fern, bulbine, and sword fern.  Additionally, there will be starfish cactus, kolanchoe, pepperomia, purple fountain grass, ribbon grass, catnip, Hawaiian tii plant, scheffelera, neanthe bella palm, queen palm, hardy bamboo, geranium, aster, cleome, dianthus, duranta, lantana, and terrestrial bromeliads. 

There are many more plants that space does not permit to list, however, do keep in mind, we are not a commercial nursery.  While we have a large number of some varieties, such as Moses-in-the boat,   there may be others of a limited quantity.  The answer to that is—COME AT 8:00 A.M OR AS EARLY AS YOU CAN!

Specialty Bulbs--Caladiums

Everyone loves the cool look of caladium leaves in the summer.  At this plant sale, we plan to have both shade and sun variety bulbs.  The shade varieties are Fire Chief (red) and Aaron (white), while the sun varieties are Friedel Hempel (red) and June Bride (white).  Each variety will be packaged with 5 bulbs in a bag.  These bulbs were specially acquired for this sale, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Specialty Plants--Orchids

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at growing orchids, but have been hesitant about paying a lot of money for those beauties? Here’s your chance to try your green thumb for a nominal fee.  We should have orchids available that are not blooming right now at very affordable prices.  Some of the varieties we will have are dendrobian, and phaleonopsis orchids, which come in either white, purple, or lavender.  The oncidium orchid comes in yellow or maroon. We’ll help you with care instructions and how to get them to bloom again.

Repeat Fish Sale

We will once again be selling small Koi and goldfish.  The young fish are locally grown - they come from right here in our Victoria Educational Gardens (VEG) water garden!  Last sale was the first time we offered them for sale and they were gone early in the day.  Now is the time to stock your pond with very affordable fish.

So, we look forward to seeing you at our sale, this Saturday, April 19th, at the 4-H Activity Center across from the newly restored control tower at Victoria Regional Airport.  Remember—COME EARLY – IT’S PLANT SALE TIME!  Proceeds from the sale go for public educational purposes including the improvements at the Victoria Educational Gardens (VEG).

Spring Master Gardener Plant Sale

What:    Over 2000 Plants For Sale

When: This Saturday, April 19, 2008
   8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Or until sold out)

Victoria County 4-H Activity Center
  259 Bachelor Drive
  Victoria Regional Airport

Benefiting Public Educational Programs
Improvements at Victoria Educational Gardens (VEG)