Upcoming sale highlights plants, books
March 15, 2015
By Marcia Kauffman/Victoria County Master Gardener
Edited by Charla Borchers Leon/Victoria County Master Gardener
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY WIKIMEDIA.COM
Named for colors of its blooms - purple for yesterday, lavender for today and white for tomorrow - this shrub with bright green foliage can bloom all three colors at once. It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. Take this plant home with you from the sale but be extra careful around children and pets as its yellow-orange berries can be fatal if ingested.
PHOTOS BY MARCIA KAUFFMAN/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Brightly colored salvia attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and are typically deer-resistant. They do well in full sun from late spring to first frost. Look for varieties of this plant suited for xeriscaping at the March 21 sale.
The lemon coral sedum thrives in full sun with minimal watering and also survives freezing winter conditions. Low-growing, its yellow star-shaped blooms are attractive to butterflies. Select this plant from the sale to be used in borders, a rock garden or containers.
This gardening book, along with others for children and adults, will be available at the Master Gardener spring plant sale March 21.
Growing up in a colder climate, I always looked forward to spring. Now that I am a Master Gardener, I anticipate the change of seasons even more. With spring approaching, I spend my free time scouring seed catalogs, strolling through different nurseries and imagining how I want my garden. I am also looking forward to the Victoria Master Gardener spring plant sale.
There will be the standard varieties of plants and the quirky ones that add a special zing to your landscape. Like in previous years, the Master Gardeners have highlighted different plants for this sale.
There are many species of salvia that come in scarlet, white, salmon, blue or purple, ranging in height from 8 inches to 3 feet. With bright colors, salvia is attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds and is resistant to deer.
This plant works well in xeriscapes because it prefers full sun during our Texas summers. It will bloom from spring to first frost and has been known to survive throughout our unpredictable freezing winters.
Deadheading the plant, or cutting off the dead flower, will help the salvia prolong its blooming time. As mature plants, these grow in well-drained, loamy soil and can be propagated by seed, division or from cuttings.
The Louisiana iris, Iris giganticaerulea, loves water and boggy spots. This graceful plant with spring blooms of blue, purple, yellow or bronze stays green all summer making it also a pretty plant for a traditional garden. It prefers partial to full sun and if it receives any less, the bloom will fade. It grows well in neutral soils with a pH from 6.5 to 7.2.
This iris doesn't have a typical growth cycle. It begins in fall around August through September, and continues through the winter to emerge with a burst of growth and color in the spring.
This 3- to 4-foot tropical shrub, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia latifolia), has bright green foliage with flowers and yellow-orange berries. The multiple colors on this shrub stand for different parts of its name: purple is yesterday, lavender stands for today and the white is tomorrow.
It can display all three colors within a short period of time. For instance, it can be white in the evening and lavender the next day. It is grown in zones 9-12 needing slightly acidic soil or 5.5 to 6.2 pH, preferring sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
As pretty as this plant can be, the berries can be fatal to children or pets if ingested.
Lemon coral sedum, Sedum rupestre, reaches a height of only 3 to 10 inches. This low-growing plant is great for borders, rock gardens and containers because it cascades as it grows. During the winter its yellow-green leaves may well be tinged with red.
Full sun is what this sedum needs and it doesn't require much water once established. Growing in zones 3-9, it survives freezing conditions. Butterflies are attracted to its star-shaped yellow flowers.
Plant books at sale
Education is the primary purpose of the Master Gardener program, and while we offer hands-on learning, we also help provide educational materials.
As much as I enjoy working in the garden, another passion of mine is collecting children's books. For this plant sale we will have numerous children's books that encompass different aspects of the garden.
There will be the book "The Mystery Vine," explaining the growing cycle of the pumpkin. "Garden Crafts for Children" is a step-by step book of simple crafts for the garden or "Gardening with Kids" offers our youngest gardeners an introduction to basic gardening.
We will also offer adult gardening books for sale with titles like "The Rodale Book of Composting" and "Some Like it Hot: Flowers That Thrive in Hot Humid Weather."
Now that our days are changing from cold and gloomy to sunny and warm, my thoughts turn to time in the garden. If you are ready to plunge into gardening, come to the Victoria Master Gardener spring plant sale next Saturday. Come ready to plant some plants.
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 email@example.com, or comment on this column at VictoriaAdvocate.com.
• "Gardening with Kids"
• "Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots"
• "The Mystery Vine"
• "Young Gardener"
• Banana shrub - Glossy evergreen shrub, creamy yellow flowers that smell like bananas.
• Francis Purple Shamrock - Great for a container as accent plant on patio.
• Henry Duelberg Mealycup Sage - Vibrant blue flowers; attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
• Hot Lips Salvia - Red flowers with white lips; attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
• Grandma's Yellow Rose/ Belinda's Dream Rose - Both recognized as Texas Superstar Plants.
• Drift Roses - Compact and disease resistant.
• Chapel Hill Yellow Lantana Patio Tree - Bright yellow ball of blooms; real statement plant for any garden.
• Drought-resistant lantanas in a variety of colors.
• Citrus - Arctic Frost Hardy Satsuma/Arctic Frost 5-gallon trees
• Rangoon Creeper - Fast-growing vine that will cover in fragrant flowers - white first day, pink second day, red on third day.
• WHEN: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (or until sold out) March 21
• WHERE: Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion at Victoria Regional Airport, across from control tower