Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Native Plant Sales, a Plant Swap and Other Events

It is time again for spring native plant sales. This is your opportunity to get plants that are Texas tough and usually not found anywhere else. As usually happens, most of them are on the same day and at opposite ends of the Metroplex. Click here to jump to the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) website and a list of sales occurring across the state. Below, is my list of sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Click the links for more information.

Spring Plant Sale at Fort Worth Botanic Garden, April 21, 9-2. In my opinion, this is the biggest and best local plant sale. Several vendors, including the North Central Texas Chapter of NPSOT will have a number of plants for sale. Here are some of the plants expected at the NPSOT area: Black Sampson, Blackfoot daisy, Chile pequin, Columbine, Eastern Bluemistflower, Eastern Redbud, Elderberry, Fall aster, Fall Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead, Fragrant phlox, Frostweed, Heartleaf Skullcap, Heath Aster, Lanceleaf coreopsis, Low Wild Petunia, Lyreleaf Sage, Mealy blue sage, Mexican feathergrass, Pigeon berry, Pink evening primrose, Purple aster, Rockrose, Salvia greggii ‘Ferman’s red’, Texas aster, Turks cap (red), Western bluemist flower, White yarrow, Winecup, White avens, White winecup (possible), Wild petunia. The other vendors may or may not have native plants.

Denton Redbud Festival, April 21, 10-4. The Trinity Forks Chapter of NPSOT will have native plants for sale. The couple of times I have been to this sale, they had some plants that I had not seen at other sales.

Collin County Master Gardeners Plant Sale, April 21, 9-3. This sale has a good mix of native plants and well adapted plants recommended by Texas A&M.

Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly Plant Sale, May 12, 10-2. This sale features native and introduced plants that are favorite nectar or caterpillar host plants. Last year they had several varieties of milkweed. Members can shop a day early and beat the mob.

The Dallas Arboretum has an annual plant sale. I have never been. I could not find any information on their website. I imagine their sale has more introduced than native plants. Maybe I will go someday.

The Heard Museum usually has a spring native plant sale, but I do not see one on their schedule this year. Their Celebrate Nature Spring Festival is April 14 and could be a fun family event.

Learn 2 Live Green event is April 14 in Plano. No plant sales, but lots of green living info and family fun.

Lastly, a chance to get a piece of my prairie. The Custer Road location of Calloway's Nursery in Plano is sponsoring a Perennial Plant Swap on April 14 from 10-12. Their stores in North Arlington and Houston have swaps scheduled for the same time. Information about those sales can be found on the link.

I am posting information about the plants I am bringing below. Click on the links for even more information. If you want one of my plants, leave a message on the Calloway's website. I will not be able to honor requests for plants made on my blog. If anyone in the area would like to participate, sign up on the Calloway's site. The more the merrier and the better the plant selection!

Gregg's Mistflower, Conoclinium greggii, is a great butterfly plant. Blooms all summer, but heaviest in the fall when the monarchs pass through. It spreads, but not aggressively. Flowers are bluish purple. 3 available.

Willowleaf Aster, Symphyotrichum praealtum, blooms in the fall. Gets about 3 feet tall and spreads by underground roots. This plant will cover a large area quickly. Flowers are pink. 5 available.

Dallas Blues Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, has bluegreen leaves throughout the summer. The flowerheads have a purple tint. Gets 5-6 feet tall. 5 available.

This is the fall color of Dallas Blues Switch Grass.

Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, is in the foreground with red flowers. Clumps slowly expand. Leaves are not sharp. Some clumps of Dallas Blues Switchgrass are in the background against the fence. 3 available.

Heartleaf Skullcap, Scutellaria ovata, has heart shaped leaves and purple flowers in the spring and early summer. The plants may die to the ground in the heat of the summer but will return in the fall. Makes a nice groundcover in sun or shade. 5 available.

Mealycup Sage, Salvia farinacea, has purple flowers and gets about 3 feet tall. I cut mine back after each flush of blooms and they will bloom again. Grows in sun to light shade. A favorite of bees and butterflies. 3 available.

Buffalo Currant, Ribes aureum, is a deciduous shrub with fragrant yellow flowers in the spring. I have not dug any of these yet, but I can if anyone is interested. Gets about 4 feet tall and wide. Looks better with some afternoon shade in the heat of the summer.

Plant Natives!

17 comments:

  1. I wish I could order some of each of your wonderful natives. But for at least another 5 - 10 years, I'll be traveling.

    But I will get to do a little gardening up here at Malheur. Provided we ever get spring. I do have a couple of hundred trees to plant in May and June.

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    1. Wow! A couple of hundred trees to plant. That should keep you busy for a little while.

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  2. I just have to tell you how much I love your blog. I currently live in Houston, Texas and I have a few of the same native plants that you have listed. Years ago as a child, I lived in the metroplex and then lived on a ranch north of Fort Worth. I am very fond of all those plants that are native to that area. Unfortunately, Houston is a little too wet and humid to support some of those natives, so it’s fun to see them growing in your garden. I’m looking forward to reading your blog in the future and I’ve added you to my blog roll.

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    1. Thanks Lucy! The climate is usually different here and in Houston, except maybe last year when none of us got any rain. Of course, David at Tropical Texana is in Houston and growing agave as if he was in a desert.

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  3. Great information. And a great list of plants! Good luck on your swap!

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    1. Thanks HolleyGarden. Most of my plants for the swap are already spoken for. Should be fun.

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  4. Thank you so much for chronicling the seasonal beauty of your native prairie garden.

    Could you please let me know if the prices of plants at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden will be comparable to prices in local nurseries in the DFW area (Shades of Green, Rohde's Nursery, etc.)? I've never been to these events.

    I was inspired to begin my native perennial garden early this spring because of this website. My baby prairie garden is coming along nicely--and I can't wait to add more plants to it from these April sales--I've already got my list of must-haves ready!

    Thanks so much.

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    1. Anonymous, the prices at the plant sales vary. Sometimes more and sometimes less, but I think they are always tax free. The best part is that you will find plants that are not available in the nurseries. The plants from the Native Plant Society groups are usually dug from member's gardens. Since they did not come out of a greenhouse where they were pumped with chemical fertilizers, they may not always look as lush as plants you will find in some nurseries or home improvement stores, but they are usually healthier and will take off once you plant them. I have lost very few plant sale plants. Oh, the NPSOT members are very helpful if you have questions. If you go to FW, try to be there early. It is a popular event and some plants go quickly. Well worth the drive.

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    2. Thanks so much. I think I'll make it out there this Saturday. One more question...I am not sure whether I should apply mulch to my garden. I am reading conflicting things and becoming confused. I am so new to all this...

      Thanks,
      Mary

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    3. Mary, it is better to have some mulch covering the soil to conserve moisture and to keep the weeds down. The depth of your mulch may vary depending on whether you want flower seedlings to sprout. I keep the mulch thin in some areas because I want annual flowers like bluebonnets to reseed for the next year. If you just have perennials and larger plants, you could apply a few inches of mulch. Hope you find all the plants you are looking for at the sales!

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    4. I did go to the plant sale in Fort Worth on Saturday and have been planting since then. One of my favorite purchases was a desert willow tree.

      Thanks so much for the advice about the mulch. I used shredded cedar.

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  5. useful info. I wish I was there in the metroplex.

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    1. Greggo, are there native plant groups in your part of Kansas?

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  6. Oh man, I wish I could make it there, I'd certainly take a few of those off your hands ;-) That's the most amazing color for 'Dallas Blues' I've ever seen...usually here, it gets nice golden color, but nowhere near the red. Your native plant sales sound AMAZING. We have a few here, but they never seem to strike a chord with me...guess I'm still a Great Plains guy at heart!

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    1. Scott, look me up if you ever make it to Texas. I can probably hook you up with a plant or two. I gave away around 30 plants at the swap and only brought home three new ones. Someone grew pepper seedlings and had more than they could use. They were really healthy looking plants. I would like to make it to some of the native plant sales this weekend, but I have to resist the urge to get more new plants. I am running out of space!

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  7. Hey Bluestem! I'm one of the three women who were standing on your sidewalk Sunday evening. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to visit with us and allow us to walk through your beautiful garden. I know the last hour of daylight is precious time for a gardener, so I really appreciate your willingness to stop and spend some time on us. We were very rude not to introduce ourselves, so belatedly, I'm Susan (from Carrollton) and your other two vistors were Becky and Theresa (from Plano). You may find us on your curb again as we gather inspiration from what you have done!

    Happy gardening!

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    1. My stalkers! :) It was nice to meet the three of you and I was serious about my plant offer. I may have to charge a fee, however, if I see you out on the curb too often!

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