Master Gardeners plan plant sale and swap on May 4
By Sue Davis
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
SALISBURY — Save the date, Saturday, May 4, for plant shopping. That is the day the Rowan County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers hold their annual Plant Sale and Swap. This event is a three in one opportunity to buy plants, swap plants that you are dividing for ones that others have brought from their gardens and to buy a gift for yourself, your garden or someone else at the Silent Auction. All three events are at the Rowan County Extension Office, 2727 Old Concord Road. The plant sale and silent auction begin at 8 a.m. The plant swap begins at 10 a.m..
Among the items you can bid on at the Silent Auction are an assortment of books, gift certificates, planters and yard art. All of the items are donated by the Rowan County businesses and garden enthusiasts in the community. Proceeds from the sales will be used to continue the work being done by the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers at the Extension Office and for their youth programs.
To participate in the Plant Swap, you can bring up to five plants to swap for five plants. Participation is $1 for the five plants. Plants you bring must be healthy. Forms will be available for you to identify the plants you bring. Master Gardeners will be on hand to help you with identification if you are not sure. Please be able to tell the color of any blossoms, and whether you have been raising it in sun or shade and wet or dry conditions. Forms will be available at the Extension Office or on the web page. This event will run until all the plants are gone. Once your five plants have been swapped, you are free to leave, perhaps shopping for plants or checking on your bid at the Silent Auction.
While you are waiting for the plant sale, think about where you need new plants. This is a good time to plant perennials, shrubs and small trees. Planting information and plant information is available for each plant being sold. Plants are healthy, have been provided by Extension Master Gardeners or from the plants propagated during the 2012 early summer propagation classes.
Many of the plants are propagated from plants around historic Salisbury. We have many camellias which have been generated from the lovely old camellias you see in Fulton Heights and throughout the historic district. There is a great selection of butterfly bushes, green leaf Daphne, gardenia and azaleas available. Deutzia is an easy shrub to grow, tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. Slender Deutzia prefers moist, humus soil with a neutral pH, but is quite tolerant of dry and heavy soils with in a wide pH range. It blooms best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. They are hardy in our zone 7. Both the pink and white varieties are available.
Confederate jasmine has an intoxicating fragrance. It is a vine that is grown widely in the area. We have a large selection of plants. You can use it in many settings. In early spring and summer, Confederate jasmine produces clusters of small, white flowers that look like tiny pinwheels. Despite their diminutive size, the flowers pack a huge punch of sweet fragrance and can easily perfume an entire yard.
Confederate jasmine is a fast-growing, twining vine that can be grown on lamp posts, trellises or arbors. It will easily twine through chain link fences and makes a great, evergreen screen. It will not climb on masonry walls unless a support structure is added. You will also find a selection of coral honeysuckle and yellow honeysuckle to use as a screen.
The plants available at the plant sale are too numerous to mention here but you will find a complete list on our website http://www.rowanmastergardener.com by April 25. With every purchase you will receive information of how to use the plants you buy, how to care for them and where they will do best in your yard.
Hours for the Plant Sale May 4 are 9 a.m.-noon. There will also be a selection of BioMarkers to mark your plants in beds for sale at 18 for $25 or $1.50 each. These plant markers are made from recycled products and will withstand long periods outside. If you plant perennials which go dormant during winter, these plant tags work well to help you remember what plants are in your garden so you do not destroy them during spring weeding. There are also Cobrahead weeders and Atlas Gloves for sale.
Sue Davis is an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.