Lee Ann Fields | 3/27/2018 8:05:32 PM
The North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners are holding a plant sale for the sixth year. We will be open from 8:00 am-1:00 pm, Saturday, April 7 at The Bridge Community Church, 2301 N. Trenton, in Ruston. This sale is an annual event serving to finance Master Gardener projects. Our projects include maintaining a butterfly garden and a xeriscape garden at Lincoln Parish Park, the garden next to Dixie Center for the Arts, and a new butterfly garden still in the planning stages. This year we are presenting three scholarships: one to a high school student planning to major in a horticultural related science and two to students currently attending Louisiana Tech majoring in a plant-related science. We are also sponsoring gardening seminars during the lunch hour at the Lincoln Parish Library. The first 75 attendees receive sack lunches. Allen Owings spoke about Louisiana Super Plants and KiKi Fontenot spoke on vegetable gardening. Both of these speakers were from the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge. Jean McWeeney, a local Master Gardener and garden coach presented a program about attracting wildlife to our backyards in March and Liz Allison, another local Master Gardener will present Gardening by the Moon in April.
Most of our plants are seed-grown. For several years we knew that some plants we would like to offer for sale could not be propagated from seed. After considering this limitation, this year we decided to purchase and grow plants from plugs. This is the first year we have offered plug-grown plants for sale. For example, we will have blue and white columbine, native red and yellow columbine, Lamium ‘Ghost’, ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint, Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’, and two angelonias. This is not a complete listing of the plug-grown plants we are offering; to see the complete listing, see our Facebook page. We sell all of our plants for a small profit margin to allow local gardeners the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of plants at a reasonable price. Many of our Master Gardeners spend many hours growing these plants. Planting begins in January in a greenhouse to allow the plants time to attain sufficient growth for planting in the garden at the time of the sale. Every effort is made to ensure these plants are well rooted and healthy.
In addition, Master Gardeners bring plants from their own gardens. Many of these plants have been grown locally and cannot be found anywhere else in our region. Some of the plants from our gardens include canna lilies, Silver and Gold chrysanthemum, Stokes’ aster, and a pink-flowered campanula. There will be a wide variety of plants brought in by Master Gardeners.
The staff at the Louisiana Tech greenhouse generously provides helpful advice and time answering our many questions. Jake Reichley, supervisor, is a local treasure. He patiently listens to us and never fails to have the answer to our problems. Growing these plants is always a learning experience for us.
On the day of the plant sale Tom Sumerall will be preparing hamburgers for our patrons to purchase during lunch. There will also be several vendors on site. Louisiana Tech Greenhouse will have a booth with vegetables and other plants for sale. This is a great time to purchase plants and to browse around to see what is available locally.
The plants that we are growing are listed on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nclmg. It does not include plants from the gardens of local Master Gardeners. Come see what we have to offer. We think you will be pleasantly surprised at our diverse offerings.