Saturday, April 26, 2008

Native Plant Sale 2008

We our celebrating Year 4 of the Native Plant sale in our town and for the 4th year we're still the ones without the American Flyer wagon to stockpile plants ... or kids.

Years past:
2007, 2006, 2005 (I wasn't blogging in 2005)

But we did good this year, first off we arrived at 8:22 a.m. and managed to find a good parking spot. We only had to wait in the long line for about 5 minutes before they piled us in to the cavernous warehouse where twigs masquerading as bushes and trees awaited us.

This year I won the Native Plant Photo contest through the park district -- yeah me --which got me a $10 gift certificate at the plant sale. I wanted to use the money for a shrubbery which go for $10 for a 3-gal pot. My winning photo is here.

So we headed to the tree/shrub area to battle the hoards running in and out of the rows of shrubs and trees. There were three shrubs I was eyeing: the maple-leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), a blue-fruited dogwood (Cornus obliqua), or a spicebush. We ended up taking the spicebush (Lindera benzoin) -- I hope that was a good pick?

Next up: Shade perennials. My goal was to snag a Jack-in-Pulpit (Arisaema tiphyllum), every year those suckers fly off the table like they had their own wings. By the time I got there -- 8:37 a.m. 7 minutes after the doors opened -- there were only 3 left and I got one! I also picked up some other shade lovers I don't have yet:
  • Black Cohosh ( Actaea racemosa)
  • Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
  • Large white Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
  • Red Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)
  • Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum bifloru)
  • Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)
I wanted to get plants I haven't bought in previous years so I can have a diverse native plant area in the front yard and I can see what does better and then improve from there. This is where the majority of them will go to join their fellow natives - celandine poppy, wild columbine, jacob's ladder, heath aster, short's aster, and blue phlox.
**And I want to shout out a "thank you" and an "I'm so sorry" to McGregor's Daughter who not only properly ID'd what I thought was a blue cohosh (mislabeling at the plant sale) as a Celandine Poppy, but also waited for me at the Arboretum but I was unfortunately held up and arrived late.

Yesterday was when we all picked up our pre-ordered plants from the Morton Arboretum. That was a well-ordered machine at 11:30 when I was there, with super nice volunteers. I picked up my pagoda dogwood, pinky winky panicle hydrangea, siberian bugloss, masterwort, and one volunteer even gave me a freebie (a small Sea Foam ruptorwort Herniaria glabra 'Sea Foam') that no one wanted because it was tiny.

So I have a plethora of plants to get planting after may 10 -- and after the frost that I hear is coming our way...


Katie said...

Cool story! And it looks like you made out like a bandit.

Annie in Austin said...

Oh Rosemarie, I remember getting such good stuff through the Arboretum when we were members. Congratulations on winning the photo contest!

So you and MMDaughter never actually got to meet? She's lots of fun - hope you get another chance.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Now I see why you didn't need to go to the Under the Tent part of the arboretum's sale! It sounds like you've got some goodies. You only need 1 Jack-in-the-Pulpit, as it quickly starts turning out little corms. Spicebush was an excellent choice. I don't have one (yet), but I think they're a host plant for some kind of butterfly. Sorry things didn't work out yesterday. I've got to find time to post about my arboretum adventure.

Tyler Allison said...

Hey! I was there! I remember seeing you having your picture taken but of course didn't know who you were. I was the tallish guy standing behind you with sunglasses and two young kids freezing.

angie said...

You look cold! Be careful with the phlox. After everything greened out here, I realized half our yard is covered in blue phlox. At least it's what my mom called phlox when I was growing up. It's pretty, but I really think the yard needs some actual grass. I'll try to take a picture to send to you.

Rosemarie said...

katie - thanks! I feel like a bandit too! not my wallet though.

Annie - This was my first Arb sale and it was great. Thanks for the congrats!

MMD - Interesting to note about jack-in-the-pulpit. I figure most of the natives spread so I only buy 1.

Tyler - Ohmigod, I remember your family behind us. The world is very small... I'll be visiting your blog!

Angie - thanks for the pic, I'll email you.