Master Gardeners plan plant sale today

Published 11:40 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Those with green thumbs should hurry to the Andalusia Farmer’s Market this morning for the annual plant expo hosted by the Covington County Master Gardeners from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Norma Riley, event coordinator and master gardener, said this year’s selections are broken down into “three gardens.”

“We have a Biblical garden, a shade garden and a butterfly garden,” Riley said. “And all the plants you need to make your garden beautiful.”

In the Biblical garden, Riley said plant lovers can chose from Jerusalem thorn, described as a tree that can reach a 20-foot high with yellow flowers; herbs such as rosemary and thyme, and more.

“We have two varieties of thyme and three of rosemary,” Riley said. “We also have knockout roses, which are always a huge seller, but you have to get there early for those.”

In the shade garden section, one will find lush, green ferns like Peacock moss; red buckeyes and an assortment of vines.

Selections of hydrangeas, willows and daisies will also be on hand, she said. There are three colors of salvia — red, white and pink, also.

The last garden — the butterfly garden — is one of Riley’s favorites.

“We’ve got something called a ‘cape honeysuckle,’ and the hummingbirds and butterflies just love them,” she said. “They’ve got great red blooms and it’s a bush, so it doesn’t climb like a honeysuckle vine.”

Also for sale are “butterfly weeds,” “orange jubilee” tecomas and more, she said.

“This is always a great event for the Master Gardeners,” she said. “Not only do we get to sell plants, which we love; but we also get to spend the day talking to people who love plants as much as we do. It’s great.”

For those who may need a little guidance when choosing their plant selections, other master gardeners will be on hand to give advice and to perform soil testing for $2.

“People need to bring about half a cup to a cup of the area where they’re going to be planting,” she said. “We can tell them what needs to be done to the soil to make it prime.”

In addition to sporting a large plant selection, two free seminars will be held. Beginning at 9 a.m., Cathy Brown, an Auburn University research assistant, will speak on grafting trees. At 10 a.m., Dr. William Goff will discuss how to grow backyard pecan and small orchards.

Riley said a “seed tape” activity has been planned for the children where seeds are placed on a biodegradable tape and can be planted.

Plants range in price from $2 to $13.

Monies raised will be used to fund community projects, Riley said.