Friday, October 12, 2012

Support Your Independent Nursery: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Sales

Okay, Okay, I get it - the Wildflower Center isn't really a nursery per se, but they do propagate their own plants which they then sell at the biannual plant sales; ipso facto, "Independent Nursery (for at least 6 days during the year)."  Lucky you - this weekend just happens to be one of those sales - the fall one to be exact (you know, because it's fall)

Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9am - 5pm; $9 entry fee, free for members

The sale isn't necessarily cheap, but they will have native plants that are usually difficult to find (like Cherokee Sedge...I don't know why it's so difficult to find now).  I'm going to start with photos from the Wildflower Center proper with sale photos at the end of the post.  Feel free to scroll down and look at those first if you want - I won't mind.

Under normal circumstances, you would go into the gift shop to pay for your entry ticket, but during the plant sale, there will be cashiers out front to meet with you before entering the facility.

The "spring" in the entry courtyard.  The gift shop is in the corner behind the spring.

Moving further into the Wildflower Center, one comes across a stunning display being put on by the gulf muhly.
There's a bench with fall aster in full bloom (this is behind me in the Gulf Muhly picture).  On the other side of the bench is the little cafe where you can grab a bite to eat.

Walking further into the center, you'll pass through the "Hill Country Garden" area before getting into the meat of the demo gardens.

A bench on the shady side of the wall with a window into the demo garden area.

Entry to the small demo garden area

To the right, a stock tank planter garden

Behind the stock tank planters there's the propagation yard - this area is off limits to visitors.

To the left of the entry way is a demo garden that contains a large planting of Gregg's Mistflower

One of the "upper level" demo gardens (this is behind the mist flower in the picture above).  This garden shows the Habiturf grass that the Wildflower center helped develop which is for sale in their gift shop.

While walking through the center, plants are identified by plastic markers - the only problem I have is that sometimes you have to go in search of all the plants of the same type in order to find out what the plant is since the markers aren't necessarily placed by EVERY stand of plants.
When at the center, you have to watch where you step since there are snakes and lizards about.
This garden is tucked away on the far left of the demo garden plots - I don't remember what they used to have here, but this garden is one that I know they changed in March or so of this year and I have to say that I LOVE the new plantings.
Now then, on to the sale!

There are vendors other than the garden center selling their wares - prices for plants are set by the Wildflower Center so you'll pay $3 per 4" pot regardless of who you purchase it from, but you do have to the pay the vendors at their tents instead of paying at the main check out location.

Plants are organized by scientific name so either come prepared, have a smart phone handy or just wander up and down the aisles looking at all the plants until you find the one you're looking for (I'm most partial to this method)

The shade plants are housed under a tent so they don't get all sun-burnt.

The tree and shrub section - because there aren't usually 25 of each type, each row will have multiple varieties of tree so be sure you traverse the entire row looking for the plants you want.

A long view of the sale - there are carts, but the place can get busy, so if you have your own cart/wagon/husband, you may want to bring it.

I'm not all fancy and cool like Pam at Digging, so I don't have a give away, BUT she's having a Support Your Independent Nursery weekly give-away during the month of October.  For more details, be sure to check her blog (for the give away ending 10/13, you'll have to click on "Previous" at the bottom of the first page - next week's give away starts on Monday).


Meredith said...

What did you buy, Katina? Besides Cherokee Sedge? I went a little crazy with understory plants, but that was the goal for this year.

katina said...

Meredith - I actually didn't get a whole bunch - I got some beauty berry and bettony for myself, and then my coworker asked me to get cherokee sedge (he's been looking for it for 6 months or so) and cedar sage (another plant he's been looking for for a while - at least in this case, it's more like the local nurseries can't keep it in stock as opposed to just straight up not carrying it anymore).

They were already out of possumhaw so I ended up going to the Natural Gardener right after and picked up three for $25 each (the cheapest price I could find in town - the next cheapest was BSN for $30 each, but a very limited number and then $75 each at Red Barn)

Prior to going to the plant sale, I went to BSN and picked up some clearance dwarf lion's tail (not on my list), and a dwarf hummingbird plant (which is on my list).

Guess I'd better contact DigTess again to get my yard all marked...