Fall plant sale
Master Gardener annual event begins this weekend

October 14, 2011

by Beth Ellis , Victoria County Master Gardener

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Gardeners' Dirt
PHOTO BY LUPECOOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
This group plant arrangement includes, (back, from left) blooming Pride of Barbados and Bush Morning Glory, followed by the Tua Tua Plant with its mixed, colorful foliage; (middle) pink hibiscus, 'Green Cloud' Sage and Butterfly Weed; and (front) Moses-in-a-Boat (also known as Oyster Plant) and Donkey Ear.  All are expected to be available at Saturday's sale.
LEFT: PHOTO BY LUPE COOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Turk's Cap
RIGHT: PHOTO BY BRYNN LEE/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Try a Donkey Ear Kalanchoe Plant indoors or out.  With leaves resembling the shape of a donkey's ear, this succulent requires little care and goes for a good while without being watered.  Donkey Ear Plants produce pink/white cluster blooms on a stalk, resembling a chandelier, that are known to attract hummingbirds.
The Victoria County Master Gardener Association fall plant sale is here. The sale is Saturday at the Master Gardener VEG pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive, at Victoria Regional Airport, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until the plants are sold out). We've got lots of plants to add to your fall landscape, and by planting now, you will give your new floral treasures time to become established before next summer's heat.

So whether you are looking for trees, shrubs or perennials, we've got 'em. Below is a sampling of what you can expect to find at the sale.

TREES

Pecan - Everybody needs to have the state tree of Texas growing in their own yard. Not only does it show your Texas pride, but also you also get to harvest your own pecans. Our little trees were planted several months ago, so they are well established in pots and ready for transplanting.

Bur Oak - Bur oaks are large, drought-tolerant trees, they like our alkaline soils, and are very long-lived. Open spreading crowns provide perfect sun/shade conditions for flowerbeds planted underneath.

Golden Rain Tree - Want some eye-popping fall color? Then golden rain trees are for you. During late spring, the dark, green leaf canopy is decorated with bright yellow 12-inch long flower spikes, followed by ornamental reddish-brown seed pods. During fall months, the foliage turns brilliant gold. What's not to love?

SHRUBS

Green Cloud Sage - This variety of cenizo has beautiful green foliage and lavender-purple blooms. It grows more vigorously than other varieties, and can reach 6 to 8 feet in height.

Dwarf Pomegranate "Nana"
- This lovely shrub matures at about 5 feet. Densely branched, it produces single, vivid red-orange flowers in summer, followed by ornamental fruits in fall. This versatile shrub can be used in the landscape or in pots and works well for bonsai.

Compact Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - This fine evergreen shrub has fragrant spring flowers and tops out at four feet. The charming name reflects the changing colors of individual blooms as they age - yesterday (deep purple), today (lavender), and tomorrow (white).

Pink Abelia "Edward Goucher" - This shrub is a butterfly magnet, with lovely, fragrant pink flowers covering graceful arching branches in summer. This semi-evergreen will grow from 3 to 5 feet in height.

Scarlet Bottlebrush - This hummingbird and butterfly favorite can be left "as is" or pruned into tree form. It will grow 10 to 15 feet tall and produce masses of scarlet bottlebrush shaped flowers that appear from spring through summer.

Leather Leaf Mahonia - If you are looking for a striking dark green foliage plant, this one is for you. It can grow four to 6 feet in height, and the pointed leathery leaves provide striking contrast to golden yellow blossoms that appear in spring. The ornamental blue grape-like fruit clusters that follow are much loved by birds.

Pride of Barbados - Who hasn't noticed this showy beauty growing in our area? Its open growth, vivid orange/yellow blooms, and ease of care make it a favorite of both butterflies and people.

Bush Morning Glory - Yes, this is indeed a morning glory, except it's in bush form. The heart shaped leaves frame lovely, large pink flowers. It's another butterfly and hummingbird favorite.

Turner's Flirt Oleander - A dwarf shrub, this oleander grows 6- to 8-feet tall with pink flowers.

Hardy White Oleander - An erect, open shrub with white flowers, it blooms in spring and summer.

PERENNIALS

Bleeding Heart - This shade-loving old fashioned favorite produces beautiful heart shaped blooms during spring. This is a good one for that pop of spring color in your shade garden - once finished blooming the plant will make way for later performers by going dormant until next spring. We have both the pink and purple varieties.

Blue Sage - Plant this beauty in your yard, and you'll be dodging hummingbirds and butterflies left and right. Another name for this drought tolerant plant is Black and Blue sage, reflecting the bi-color look of the flowers. It can grow up to 5 feet in height.

Butterfly Weed
- Topped by orange-yellow bloom clusters, this plant is a favorite food source for the caterpillars of monarch butterflies. It has an upright growth habit with narrow lance-shaped leaves.

Butterfly Iris - The sword-shaped leaves of this vigorous perennial grow to about 2 feet. Pretty iris-like white flowers accented with gold and lavender appears atop tall stems during the spring.

Peter Pan Dwarf Lily of the Nile
- This blue flowering lily is ideal for borders and rock gardens, growing 8- to 12-inches tall. Needless to say, this is only a tiny sample of what all will be available at the sale with more than 2,000 plants expected.

SO COME ON OUT TO THE PLANT SALE

Finished with your last-minute landscaping preparations - or not - head on out to the VEG pavilion Saturday morning for some fall plants. Come early for the best selections - we anticipate selling out fast
PHOTO BY BRYNN LEE/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
The Night Blooming Cereus is a nondescript succulent plant that when in bloom boasts a beautiful fragrant white orchid-like flower.  This plant blooms at night, with each bloom lasting only through that night only with its blooms gone by morning.  Relatively easy to care for, anticipation of its bloom can cause some sleepless nights.
PHOTOS BY LUPE COOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
LEFT:  Various reasonably priced pecan seedlings will be available at the sale on Saturday.  Having been planted in pots several months ago, they are ready for fall tree planting by being transplanted into your landscape.
RIGHT:  Shown here are a variety of plants with expected availability at the sale.  Background to forefront are 'Green Cloud' Sage and Dwarf Pomegranate Bushes, followed by 'Peter Pan' Dwarf Lily of the Nile and then Mahonia Leather Leaf in the front.
TURK'S CAP:  FEATURED PLANT OF THE SALE

Native Texas Superstar plant
Blooms face up; usually less than 2 inches long
Five petals on bloom swirl tightly like a turban
Attracts pollinators, especially hummingbirds
Can be planted spring, summer or fall
Blooms in sun, partial sun, partial shade
Comes in both red and pink, and we've got both.


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IF YOU GO
When: Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m (or until sold out)

Where: VEG Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive, Victoria Regional Airport
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.