Saturday, May 12, 2007

Plant Sale at the Arb

Today was the 39th annual Spring Plant Sale at the Univ of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Arb is about 15 minutes from our house - we are so lucky. I go down there often to walk and enjoy the beautiful gardens and open spaces - it's good for my soul! Every Mother's Day weekend, the Auxiliary does a spring plant sale as a fundraiser - this also just happens to coincide with the Minnesota fishing opener - so great planning on their part! The prices are about average for a good garden center - but the proceeds go to a great cause, so I'm glad so many people show up each year. They have a great selection of perennials, roses, trees & shrubs, vegetables and herbs. I want to share my day at the plant sale with you, but first I wanted to show you my little species tulips that just opened. Aren't they adorable? Very small - and very yellow - and about three times as many as I planted last year - gotta love it!
Diehards at the plant sale know to get there early to get the best selection. The sale begins at 9 am, and no one gets into the buildings or areas until 9. We were there before 8:30, and we weren't the first.
Soon, there were long lines at each area. We chose to start at the herbs/vegetables building because I buy heirloom tomatoes and I wanted to be sure I got my favorite kinds.
Before 9, the lines were very long and more people arriving. Mark goes with me (what a sweetheart!), and he was wishing they would set up a Caribou Coffee (Minnesota's version of Starbucks) - good idea - I may have to suggest that!
At 9 sharp, they dropped all the tapes, and everyone headed in to start picking out their plants. I went from the veg/herb to daylilies and peonies which were set up on tables outdoors, to the shade plant building, and then to the sun plant building.
Inside the buildings, the tables are spaced very closely, and it isn't easy to get to what you want. But we're all experienced sale shoppers, so everyone does fine. To the upper left of this photo is the rose area - I resisted buying any this year - but the ones in bloom were lovely!
There were a lot of little red wagons at the sale - it's a good idea to have a way to easily carry your plants from place to place and back to your car. If most people are like me, they buy more than they planned!
We use little green wagons. Ours are the two front ones - but we're not the only ones going for the heavy-duty garden wagons.
People are very innovative in coming up with wagon alternatives. My favorite today was a long plastic snow toboggan - the woman who had it said it holds a ton of plants. I'm sure! (Actually, I think you can see her walking away from the camera in the first Arb photo)

Here are the things I ended up with today - in and out and on our way home by 9:30 - had to make room for the shoppers showing up later! These were my sun perennials - one red Japanese peony, two daylilies - repeat bloomers, and one lupine.
Shade plants - 2 ligularia, 1 celandine poppy, 1 meadow rue, 1 masterwort, and 1 snowdrop anemone.
My herbs: basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, lemon verbena, curly & Italian parsley.
Tomatoes: Soldacki and Caspian Pink - both heirlooms - and 1 Roma. I'm not a big fan of Roma tomatoes, but I think if I roast them and freeze them, they'll be good in chili, soups, red sauce, etc. The heirlooms taste so wonderful, that we eat most of them fresh from the garden, and then we run out of frozen tomatoes before winter's over. Also in this photo are 2 scarlet runner bean vines.
And two pasque flowers - forgot to put them in with the other sun plants.
When we got home, I fired up the little Honda rototiller that I have and tilled the tomato and herb garden spaces, plus two new garden spaces that I started prepping last fall. Have everything planted except the 2 ligularia and 2 dayliles - they were so dry, that I decided to hydrate them in a dishpan of water overnight. So I'll get them in tomorrow.
I'm sure I'll end up with more perennials when I get my annuals (something always seems to catch my eye!), but now I need to focus on getting containers done. Also have dahlia, caladium, and mini glads to plant - I think we're warm enough now that I can safely do that.
My body is so tired - but definitely a fun day!
Hope everyone has a lovely Mom's Day tomorrow!


Lynne said...

Wow! You sure are a gardening lady. I've loved the pictures of your tulips and other flowers. We don't have a lot of space around our house, so I'm lucky if I get a few begonias planted in the front. In fact, I really need to get some right now.

Happy Mother's Day!

kris said...

Hi Lynne - I am a NUT! I'm sure if we didn't have big dogs that need room to play, my whole yard would be garden by now. I absolutely love playing in the dirt.

Have a great Mom's Day!

meresy_g said...

Oh my but I do love a plant sale. One of my favorite things about spring. Looks like you got some good stuff!

kris said...

Thanks - I love buying plants too. Just went to your blog and sounds like you got some good stuff this weekend too!

May said...

People should read this.