Annual Plant Sale

LA Super Plant, ‘Penny Mac’ Hydrangea flowers blue in acid soils and pink in alkaline soils.

Ideally suited to a moist, shady spot, ‘Red Dragon’ Persicaria adds flair with its chevron patterned tricolor leaves of purple, silver and green.

White to purple daisy-like flowers of African Daisy prefer dry soils and full sun.

Come One – Come All to the annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale at the LSU AgCenter Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge. Enjoy strolling past flowering hanging baskets, colorful foliage plants, ready-to-go container gardens and thousands of blooming plants ready to beautify your summer landscape. Louisiana Master Gardener Extension Volunteers will open the sale at 8am this Saturday and you’ll be able to meander through table after table of select plants until the sale ends at 2pm.

Bring a wagon if you’d like to help cart your plant selections and kids are welcome. There will be a special Children’s Area for young children to plant a special flower pot for their mother to celebrate Mother’s Day. Master Gardeners will be staffing a Plant Health Care Clinic to assist with gardening questions and to provide LSU AgCenter soil sample kits. Master Gardeners will also have a dedicated herb area with expert herb gardeners to guide you with plant selections and growing information.

Traffic control, parking, plant holding, and plant loading into your vehicle are all taken care of by a group of dedicated Master Gardeners. All that is required of you is to visit and enjoy – and of course to purchase some lovely plants. Proceeds from this co-sponsored event benefit the EBRP Louisiana Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and the LSU AgCenter Burden Center.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. What are some of the special plants waiting for you this year?

Agastache, a truly great plant for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and honeybees to a sunny garden. Flowers in colors of hot pink, lilac, and deep purple, all against the background of rich green foliage.

A favorite of mine for gardens that you don’t like to water is yellow or tangerine Bulbine. This clumping plant has succulent-like foliage resembling a green onion and produces yellow or tangerine flowers from mid-spring to frost. It’s best planted either as an accent in a mixed container or in a grouping in the landscape.

Echinacea ‘Pow Wow White’ and ‘Wild Berry’ are vigorous hybrids of this southeastern wildflower that excel in our heat and humidity. Plants increase in size, and flower power, every year and the flowers are great for cutting.

A great textural plant that likes a dry garden is ‘Blue Haze’ Spurge. The powder-blue foliage serves as a backdrop for chartreuse-yellow flowers appearing late spring to early summer. Another plant selection, Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’, is a clumping perennial with very thin, blue-gray foliage. Locate this plant where it will not receive much water once established.

The dwarf crape myrtles in the Dazzle Series have been a perennial favorite with gardeners. Master Gardeners have all the colors—fuchsia purple, cherry red, white, neon rose, rich pink. This dwarf version of our most popular summer flowering tree performs nicely when planted in a container. In fall, foliage of some of the varieties turn burgundy red adding another dimension of color in the landscape.

The ‘ham and eggs’ plant has come a long way since my childhood days. Lantana now has many named selections but one of my favorites is the Bandana series. Several color combinations exist with bright yellow ‘Lemon Zest’, coral to orange to yellow ‘South Bandana Coral’, and others having shades of peach and shades of pink.

‘Penny Mac’ hydrangea is a wonderful flowering shrub that produces abundant large, rounded clusters of deep-blue or pink flowers, depending on the soil’s pH. Penny Mac hydrangea’s major bloom is in May, but gardeners can expect flowers through fall on this repeat bloomer. Penny Mac is the sixth most grown hydrangea in the United States. Use this Louisiana Super Plant as a specimen plant or in borders and mass plantings for an outstanding show in your landscape.

African Daisy or Osteospermum likes it hot and on the dry side and will reward you with white to purple daisy-like flowers on short, compact plants. Plant in a mixed container with other dry growing plants to add season long color.

Two of the best summer phlox (in my opinion), ‘Robert Poore’ and ‘David’, will be available. Master gardeners have offered these two selections over the years. They are true perennials and do not get powdery mildew like so many of the summer phlox on the market. They bloom their heads off and their white and pink to magenta flowers blend well with other early summer annuals and perennials.

If big is your thing, then you must see the ‘Gorizia’ Rosemary. Its leaves are double any rosemary I’ve ever seen and stems are strong and upright. This will make great skewers for kabobs this summer on the grill.

Bold crinkled leaves set the scene for perennial Veronica ‘Sunny Blue Border’s’ spikes of tubular dark violet blue flowers. Hummers and butterflies will be attracted to the landscape summer to fall as this plant repeats flowers.

Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ or pincushion plant provides an airy effect with its slender bloom stalks topped with frilly petaled light blue flowers. It combines well with sun loving companions and beckons butterflies to visit your garden from spring to fall.
4/24/2012 2:49:28 AM
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