Monday, May 10, 2010


Saturday was Klehm Arboretum’s annual fund raising plant sale. Déjà vous, exactly like the 2009 sale day—damp, cold and windy.

Last year I remember walking across the parking lot, the wind cutting through my light weight jacket, making me shiver. This year I'm more prepared in a heavy winter coat. The sale begins at 9:00 but the volunteers aren’t ready so we must stand in the lobby for a half hour.

While we wait we chat a little about plants and previous sales. I tell them about two new favorites found here last year. It’s exciting, not like visiting a garden center (although that can be exciting too). Here you will find some unusual plants. Many gardeners specialize in native wild flowers that can’t be found in box stores or even greenhouses.

Last year I found rudbeckia triloba by accident. I had been talking with a volunteer who brought a box of plants to the sale. I followed her to a table in the corner where she pointed at a group of tiny plants and told me these were very nice. She didn’t know the name and just called them black eyed Susan’s. The little leaves didn’t look familiar, certainly not one of the more common rudbeckias. For a buck and a quarter, why not try one? (It was late July before these little leaves suddenly grew into a 28 inch clump and burst into a spectacular yellow display. The flowers lasted throughout the autumn season.

(Rudbeckia triloba native to the eastern US)

This year I picked up several more r. triloba.

Another great plant from last year’s sale was Fireworks, a hybrid goldenrod.

(Solidago Fireworks another native plant.)

Found another Fireworks at this sale. Also picked up a huge clump of chives, a white woodland phlox, a few miniature bearded iris, a jack in the pulpit, and a bloodroot.

(A few early gardeners check our the display tables)

(Crows in front of Klehm's visitors center.)

30 comments:

Heather said...

Pretty brown eyed Susans! Are they biennial? Your Fireworks are pretty too - haven't heard of those!

sweet bay said...

Rudbeckia triloba is a great flower. There are a great many natives that aren't available except by the best specialized mail-order nurseries. I don't have the cultivar 'Fireworks' but we have S. rugosa growing wild here and it really stands out from the rest of the goldenrods even now.

tina said...

I remember that triloba and your postings on it. It is so wonderful and a super good find. Plant sales are so fun! Maybe next year it'll be warm?

Phillip said...

Sounds like a fun time. I tend to go overboard at these events. I don't think our local plant societies are having any sales this year or at least I haven't heard of any.

Rosey said...

Can't ever get enough Chives, I say. Best herb ever for garnishing! yum!

Those crows looked so realistic.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful, Marnie.... I love the Rudbeckia triloba (although I never knew them by their real name).

That hybrid goldenrod looks fabulous.

My son brought me two hanging baskets, neither of which I've ever had before. One if Verbena and one is Fuchsia... Any instructions????

Hugs,
Betsy

perennialgardener said...

Great finds Marnie. I don't blame you for picking up a couple more of your favorites from last year's sale. Can't wait to see a picture of the new additions. Have you planted them yet? :)

Randy and Jamie said...

That goldenrod photo is incredible!
I really like the crow sculpture too. Jamie and managed not to over spend at the annual plant sale this year.-- Randy

nancybond said...

Looks like a great show of plants -- and I love the crows! One crow sorrow...two crows joy. What a neat thing for a garden!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I remember your post from last year. What a lovely place to have a plant sale. I must say I am envious of the sale AND having to wear a coat! I don't like to sweat, and I have had to do my share. It is muggy and overcast here. As soon as the sun burns off the clouds, it will be HOT. Spring is over for us even though the calendar says otherwise.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It seems that a lot of bloggers are able to go to these wonderful plant sales. What fun. Wish I could attend one.

troutbirder said...

I had a patch of some kind of wild Rudbeckia grow up in a ditch along side my woods last year. I had no idea where they came from or what exactly they were. Now I have a possible clue. Hope they come up again (I didn't mow the patch)

Cameron said...

Weather is just crazy this year. We had a 40 degree morning and we're getting into a drought already.

I can't believe that I've not added goldenrod here as it is deer resistant and I grew it at a previous home. Finding the place for it that isn't taken up by agastache or salvia is the challenge!

I like the rudbeckia triloba, but have never tried it. I have 'Goldsturm'.

Cheryl said...

Marnie....what a delightful place to spend time. Walking out with wildflowers is a dream to any gardener.

I am trying to add more and more natives to the garden. I believe most people are thinking that way now.

Love the bright bold colours, of both plants....they will, I am sure, look great in your garden.

Southern Lady said...

Sounds like you got some great stuff! Carla

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Marnie, Wait a second... that room looks an awful lot like the setup in the Matthaei auditorium. It was wet, windy, and rainy for our sale, too. :)

joey said...

Lots of good stuff, Marnie. Love plant sales, a favorite way to spend the day <3

beckie said...

Marnie, these types of plant sales are wonderful. We had one this Sat. as well. Lots of natives and herbs. Your finds look great and I wish I would have found a Jack in the pulpit as you did this year. Such a glorious plant. Glad you dressed warm-I didn't. :)

BeadedTail said...

Those black eyed Susans are pretty! I went to a plant sale last Friday but was clueless what to pick. I ended up getting 6 hosta plants for $1 each to help add color to a shady spot we have. Hope I can get them to grow!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Sounds like a great plant sale. I get excited at the thought of buying new plants, especially uncommon ones. The Rudbeckia is really pretty and what a great deal!
I might have mentioned this before, but I really love all your bird pictures on your sidebar.

Susie said...

Looks like fun Marnie! What a great way to spend some time.

walk2write said...

I love all of those plants I used to think of as weeds, including the goldenrod and Rudbeckia. Funny how my taste in plants has changed with age. Maybe it's the fact that the natives are so much easier to grow and have fewer problems with pests and inclement weather. Great pics, especially the indoor one of the plants-filled tables. Heaven!

Kathleen said...

Fun stuff Marnie. All except the weather, that is. I was freezing last weekend plant shopping as well and I thought to myself "something is wrong with this picture!" But what can we do? March on, I guess and hope it changes. Sounds like a great event and it's always thrilling to find some unusual plants.
Envious of the jack-in-the-pulpit. That was one of my favorites from childhood. I've never tried it here ~ too dry I think and I'm not sure it would like the clay either???
ps. Those spanish bluebells are sprinkled all over my garden and seem to be doing just as well in full sun as part shade.

Naturegirl said...

Marnie these are the kind of plant sales I love the best!True garden knowledge comes with each plant bought!Garden centres are great but many of the staff don't know much about the individual plants other than planting time,blossoming time, and shade or sun,,that's what I find.
Happy gardening to you..here we are freezing...so-o (((cold)))where's that sunshine!!

Balisha said...

There were two plant sales Sat. that I wanted to go to. I didn't go to either, because of the cold weather. So glad that you could find some new plants. Balisha

ShySongbird said...

I love the bright colours of the Rudbeckia and the Golden Rod. I have a Golden Rod in my garden but I can't remember which one it is.

I do like those Crows, Marnie, they would look very nice in my garden :)

Cordwood Cabin said...

What beautiful plants! It's always fun to "discover" a new variety for the garden ... there's still a few growing here with unidentified origins but beautiful characteristics -- not doubt imported by an ancestor with a fondness for them.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

What a great sale with such nice finds. I don't have that particular Rudbeckia. Perhaps I should look for it. Would be nice in my meadow garden. Your photos were very nice and oh-so-tempting.~~Dee

Rose said...

This sounds like just the kind of sale I like! Actually, I missed one similar to yours this past weekend, an annual sale by the Prairie Plant Association. I picked up several good finds last year, but this year had to ask Beckie to look for me. I'm still on the hunt for a prairie coneflower, echinacea pallida, though--not that I really need any more coneflowers:) I like your rudbeckia!

sweet bay said...

Marnie, the Baptisia seeds don't require any pre-treatment. Don't expect them to germinate until the weather gets good and warm (or even hot) though.