With spring officially here this week, the Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale is scheduled for Saturday morning.

Join us at Victoria Educational Gardens (VEG) at 333 Bachelor Drive across from the Air Traffic Control Tower at Victoria Regional Airport from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until everything is sold out, whichever is first.

Come early to ensure best selections

It is best to come early for a chance to pick up some of your favorite plants or to try something new, information of which was included in both last week’s and today’s columns. Quantities are limited, so again, come early. Annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees will be available for you to pick and choose.

Plants to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees

Take advantage of this plant sale in order to build a garden that will attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

To attract bees, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends abelia, salvia greggii, bottlebrush, crepe myrtle, Texas lantana, shrimp plant, eupatorium and esperanza. Expect various ones of these plants at the sale.

The book, “Butterfly Gardening for Texas” by Geyata Ajilvsgi, recommends bottlebrush, bleeding heart, viburnum, red-fruited and purple passionflower and shrimp plant to attract butterflies. Available at the plant sale will be Hanna Ray bottlebrush, Little John bottlebrush as well as bleeding heart clerodendrum.

The book “Hummingbirds of Texas” by Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay and C Mark Klym ,suggests planting salvia, honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, lantana and Turk’s cap to attract hummingbirds. It is recommended you choose plants which bloom at different times to provide hummers with food through the year. Again, various of these plants should be available at the sale.

Color bowls, hanging baskets, container plants

Color bowls assembled by Mid-Coast Floral and Landscaping will be available again this year. These bowls are filled with beautiful, colorful plants that will look charming on your porch or deck and will bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. They make perfect gifts, too, for special upcoming springtime occasions.

Beautiful hanging baskets in a variety of begonias will be available to accent your outdoor area.

Along with color bowls you may want to make your own container plants. You could use pots, of course, or be creative and plant in an old wheelbarrow or a whiskey barrel. As long as the container can drain, you’ll be good to go.

There are two articles that were published in The Gardeners’ Dirt column in the Victoria Advocate that will help you decide if you want to go with containers. Visit vcmga.com and click on 2018 Gardeners’ Dirt Articles to find the June 22, 2018, and September 14, 2018, articles. These will give you the nuts and bolts of container gardening as well as ideas on types of containers you can use. Holly ferns and Persian shield – perfect for a container – are sample shade-loving plants that will be available.

Plants confirmed on the “likely available” list

The following plants are expected to be at Saturday’s sale.

  • Salvia greggii
  • Sage
  • Indigo flair mahonia
  • Holly fern
  • Persian shield
  • Yarrow
  • Cuphea
  • Esperanza – in yellow
  • Banana shrub
  • Hannah Ray bottlebrush
  • Little John bottlebrush
  • Dwarf olive
  • White passion vine
  • Firecracker plant
  • Firecracker vine
  • Bougainvillea
  • Apricot/white drift roses
  • Crape myrtle
  • Whopper begonia
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant

Back by popular demand

With positive feedback from patrons, these plants will be available again.

  • Leopard plant
  • Yesterday, today and tomorrow
  • Bleeding heart glory bower
  • Other plants available are noted

Refer to the adjoining printed information for those citrus and fruit trees that will be available and that sold out at the recent citrus tree sale. Also look for plants that were propagated by Master Gardeners in our own local greenhouse.

Enjoy 19 mini gardens

Before the sale or after you’re done shopping, the Victoria County Master Gardeners welcome you to venture outdoors and walk around the 19 mini gardens to see what is there. You may get some ideas for your own yard at the same time you’re enjoying a walk through the beautiful gardens maintained by Master Gardeners and with plant identification markers.

Look for an area dedicated to Texas Superstars. These plants are designated as such by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Superstars are determined “Texas-tough” in all areas of Texas and include Texas bluebonnets that are blooming throughout the gardens announcing the start of spring. We welcome you to come out from dawn until dusk, at no charge.

See you Saturday morning

Come out to the VEG Pavilion for the sale Saturday morning. Proceeds go to maintaining and operating the nearly 2 acres of Victoria Educational Gardens as well as educational community projects throughout the year.

The Gardeners’ Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas A&M 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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