Garden Diary - April 2011

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Saturday, 16 April 2011
Watnong Plant Sale at the Leonard J. Buck Garden

Here we go. It is again time for the fabulous plant sale co-sponsored by the New Jersey Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the Leonard J. Buck Garden in Far Hills, New Jersey. Always a popular event, there are shoppers who return year after year, looking for "the good stuff" to grow in their gardens. There is a selection of choice trees and shrubs, perennials, and specialty plants. What you won't find are annuals, vegetables, tropicals, and bedding plants. Since the scope is broad and space is limited, so are numbers. There might be only one of some choice tree. Where do the plants originate? Specialty nurseries across the country, from as far afield as dwarf conifers from Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon., a wholesale-to-the-trade-only source.

UPDATE: Cute little Dwarf Conifers were sold out

Members also donate plants that have done so well in their gardens that an excess is available. This is great because you can be sure that such plants are adapted to local conditions. And prior to the sale we have a visit from a New Jersey Department of Agriculture inspector, checking for pests and diseases.

There are dwarf plants suitable for the rock garden and troughs, those specialized hypertufa containers.

Buck Garden is going to have a hands-on trough making class. Check their web site for date and details.

If Bambi thinks your garden is a salad bar, there's even a section of plants said to be deer resistant. We
don't want to jinx things by declaring them deer proof. (I'm not even sure there are such plants.)

Experience over the years has taught the plant sale coordinators how to KISS,
Keep It Simple Sweetheart. Color coded labels in each pot reference the price.
You know how much you're spending and the cashiers just pluck the label and tally.

Eager shoppers line up well before the 10:00 a.m. opening bell.

A red tail hawk takes a bird's eye view of the proceedings.

They're off! And the shoppers enthusiastically check out the plants for sale.

Too much to carry? This clever lady made a box she could drag behind her.
Actually, there's no need. We have a separate plant holding area, complete
with attendants guarding boxes with people's names until ready for checkout.

More shoppers. Not sure about a plant? There are advisors, me among them, ready to help. Just
"Ask Me About Plants" as our I.D. tags note and we're glad to oblige. How to grow and
where to grow, good companion plants, plant one or plant several. Just ask us about plants.

Here's Karen, doyenne of the plant sale. Beautifully color
coordinated outfit, with matching pot of heuchera in her
gloved hands. Please notice, she's even still smiling!

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