Saturday, March 3, 2012

Austin Organic Growers and Sunshine Community Gardens Plant Sales

You would have thought that at some point on Friday night I would have said to myself "Self, tomorrow is the AOG sale AND the Sunshine sale.  You know how picked over the sales get if you don't show up early.  Plus you need to go get some decomposed granite.  And you really should prune back the Gregg's Mistflower and the Artemisia.  Perhaps you should go to bed somewhat early."  Instead, I stayed up until midnight.  But I have an excuse - I was creating a spreadsheet of all the plants I want (common name, botanical name, moisture needs, height, sun requirements, color, growing style, other notes).  I am still not done.

So I woke up around 10 am, cleaned the bird bath and bird feeders, and then headed out to the sales at 1045.  I decided to hit up the Sunshine sale first since it's the larger of the two and also the busier of the two.  One of the things I like about the Sunshine sale is that there are other things being sold as well - clay wares, compost, food (sometimes).  Since I've decided that I'm not doing a spring garden this year (I'm doing garlic and onions instead), I did a quick look-through on the garden plants, analyzed the non-food plants, didn't see anything I liked so I went and looked at the artisan wares.  I was quite taken with the Ollallas (it's probably spelled different than that and Google helps zero).  But again, since I'm not growing any spring plants this year, I decided to put off purchasing anything that had to do with tomatoes and peppers (though I am liking those metal plants more and more - I may have to talk to Bob).  In the end I left Sunshine Gardens empty handed and headed down south for the AOG sale.

I was looking forward to the AOG sale more, if only because I remembered them having a pretty 50/50 split of vegetables and ornamentals in the past.  I started first on the ornamentals side and immediately saw 2 plants I wanted.  I grabbed a tray and started loading up.  When I got to the herbs section I noticed that the Dill plants were much larger and more filled out than the plants that were being sold at the Sunshine Gardens (they were both from Gabriel Farms).  I figured it was either that Sunshine already had sold all their big plants by the time I got there, or the AOG just purchased a smaller number of plants so they got larger seedlings.  In the end I got one of the dill plants for the swallowtail caterpillars. I debated on getting a larkspur seedling and ultimately decided against it because I thought it would require more water than I was willing to give it.  Of course, now that I know Jenny grows it in her rock garden, I am regretting that I didn't get it. Though I did correctly think that MSS grows it, and I'm sure she doesn't baby her plants, but I figured they probably aren't as brutalized as a hell strip tends to be.

In the end I spent $18.50 on 3 thyme plants (for the hell strip project), an Engelmann's Daisy (also for the hell strip), 1 dill plant, 1 Lavender Verbena (northern part hell strip), and 1 Gulf Coast Penstemon.


Caroline said...

Nice haul. I missed both sales this year to hang out with Master Gardeners, kids and chickens at Sustain Center's Spring Chicken Festival. It was a great day for being outside!

Amy said...

What a great weekend for garden plant perusing! I had to laugh when I saw your post because I started my own plant spreadsheet this week with the same categories; strangely satisfying (and useful for planning). Enjoy your new herbs and flowers.

Ally said...

Thanks so much for the plant sale review. I too was working at the the Chicken Festival, so I couldn't make either sale. Since I grew plants for the AOG sale, they let me make some early purchases on Friday, which was very nice.

BTW, I grow larkspur every year from seed. I have never watered it. I might be tempted to water a transplant to help it along, but the plants that re-seed themselves are on their own.