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Gardeners' Dirt: Early birds have best selection at plant sale

By By Dick Nolen - Victoria County Master GardenerEdited by Charla Borchers Leon
Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.

Look for the variegated flax lily Dianella tasmanica at Saturday's plant sale. It adds leaf color and texture to landscaped beds, and is a thick-spreading, under-the-ground rhizome with green linear leaves that can reach 40 inches in length. It blooms very small dark blue flowers spring to late summer, can grow several feet in height and does well in containers.  It is a hardy plant suitable to this area.

What to Expect At Saturday'S Sale

•  Bulbs - Spider lilies

•  Rhizomes - Flax lilies (Dianella)

•  Shrubs - Esperanza (yellow bells), hibiscus and others

•  Trees - Plumeria (frangipani)

•  Succulents - Donkey ear kalanchoe, night blooming cactus

•  Ferns, grasses, palms

•  Patio container plants

•  Seed balls - Texas wildflower mix; butterfly/hummingbird blend

•  Educational materials - Books and Texas wildflower wheels

•  VCMGA cookbooks

Large numbers of select plants

(All attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees)

Five varieties of Buddleia (butterfly bush)

•  Attraction butterfly bush

•  Black knight butterfly bush

•  Nanho purple butterfly bush

•  Pink delight butterfly bush

•  White profusion butterfly bush

Two varieties of Salvia

•  Evolution mealycup sage

•  Henry duelberg salvia (a Texas Superstar)

VCMGA Fall Plant Sale

•  Doors open at 8 a.m. Saturday

•  4-H Activity Center Rifle Range, 259 Bachelor Drive, Victoria Regional Airport

The Victoria County Master Gardener fall plant sale is Saturday in conjunction with a Festival in the Gardens celebrating 10 years of Victoria Educational Gardens and the fall symposium - all along Bachelor Drive across from the control tower at Victoria Regional Airport.

Plant sale moved to nearby location

The plant sale has been moved from its recent location to the nearby 4-H Activity Center rifle range at 259 Bachelor Drive just down the road. This alternative location is because of all of the area buildings being utilized for the symposium programs and festival activities. Signs will be in place to direct you to the plant sale entrance.

Sale, symposium and garden festival

Master Gardeners will present various educational programs for adults throughout the day tomorrow. Also, numerous fun and educational activities, especially for children, have been planned. You are invited to come to the plant sale and also participate in any or all of the activities featured for a day of celebration.

Here is helpful information for tomorrow's activities available to you from Victoria County Master Gardeners:

What: VCMGA Fall Plant Sale

Where: 4-H Activity Center Rifle Range, 259 Bachelor Drive at Victoria Regional Airport

When: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday or until sold out.

What: VCMGA Festival in the Gardens and Fall Symposium

Where: VEG, Officer's Club, 4-H Activity Center (meeting room) and VEG Pavilion. Multiple venues on Bachelor Drive at Victoria Regional Airport

When: Saturday, registration begins at 8 a.m.; activities begin at 9 a.m.

Note: There is a nominal, $10 registration fee for the symposium to defray cost of materials. All other activities are free all day long.

Early birds get best choices

It is recommended you arrive early to be able to get the plants you prefer. Master gardeners will be available to help you find the plants you want or to answer questions related to plants of interest.

As usual, a holding area will be available to hold your plants while you continue to shop or attend other activities. Note: Plants in the holding area must be paid for before you leave them while attending the symposium and festival activities.

Several thousand plants

If the drought has punished your garden as it did mine, you will probably need to replace some plants, or maybe, you are looking for that something special. Either way, there will be a large variety of plants from which you can choose.

Our greenhouse Master Gardeners have propagated a variety of about 1,000 plants for the sale. We also purchase an equal number of plants from commercial wholesale growers to supplement the plants we have in order to give you a larger variety to choose for your gardens.

Lots of choices

You can expect to see plants in the categories of bulbs such as spider lilies and rhizomes such as flax lilies (Dianella). You will also find ferns, grasses, palms and a long list of shrubs, such as the esperanza (yellow bells) with various hibiscus as well as trees like the frangipani. What is that, you say? Well, it is the common name for the plumeria tree from which the flowers are used to make the famous Hawaiian lei.

Succulents, such as the donkey ear kalanchoe and night blooming cactus, will also be available. You can find a variety of patio container plants as well as the Texas wildflower mix seed balls and butterfly/hummingbird blend seed balls made by Master Gardeners and available for sale.

Educational material

If you are searching for educational materials on gardening, there will be books and other sources available at the sale. They include " Central Texas Gardening, Hummingbirds of Texas," "Insects of Texas," "Texas Gardening Almanac," "Texas Wildscapes (Gardening for Wildlife)," "Toxic Plants of Texas" and "What Can I Do With My Herbs?"

Also, look for the Texas wildflower wheel featuring 16 of the most common species of wildflowers in Texas and the popular Victoria County Master Gardener Association cookbooks with suggested recipes and meal presentations for all occasions and seasons.

Come join us for all the fun and activities as we continue to offer education at our festival and symposium along side the plant sale. We look forward to seeing you at VEG bright and early Saturday.

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 VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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