A pretty quick six today. It is Blount County Master Gardener plant sale weekend. There was setup on Friday, labeling, pricing, and arranging plants at the Oneonta, Alabama, Agribusiness Center. Then the sale is today. I think that our own Master Gardeners buy just about as many plants as we sell. These plant sales are major events for local Master Gardener associations around the State, and ours is always rich with a couple of thousand dollars worth of shrubs, bedding plants, and a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies, so as my first entry, I’ll include our sale banner!
2. Next is a selection of the hellebores, or Lenten Rose plants, I potted for the sale.
3. While on the “potted up” topic, I have a progress report on some oakleaf hydrangea volunteers I transplanted last spring. These are for gifts, rather than for sale. For some fortunate reason, this acre on Straight Mountain seems like an oakleaf hydrangea nursery, and I have several friends that appreciate one of these “babies” to raise in their own gardens. I’m not sure when I added the tiny hosta to the tray below, but I’m pleased to see it come up looking good this spring.
4. Now for a really pleasing propagating update. On April 9th, I included a photo of a some cuttings propagated from a variegated leaf althea, or Rose of Sharon, last summer. At that previous post, a few leaves promised to hold the split leaf color of the original plant. A couple of weeks later and things are looking very promising.
A few more cuttings this year as backup , and I can finally feel secure in removing the host plant that is blocking a path by some steps. Of course, eventually I will have to decide where these will be planted. For now, though, and for another year or two, they can live in pots.
5. The fifth entry for today relates to the featured image–native Alabamas azaleas. The star of the show is the white Alabama azalea (Rhododendron alabamense). The closeup photo on the bottom left shows the identifying yellow blotch on one petals of each flower. Besides being lush with blooms, this azalea is wonderfully fragrant this season. The second is one of the other common natives in this area, the Piedmont or mountain azalea (Rhododendron canescens). It has bloomed briefly and sparsely this spring. The photo in the center on the bottom is of one of the earliest flowers a month ago. The final native is a new one for me, a Rhododendron canescens cultivar, ‘Camilla’s Blush.’ Its light pink color is reminiscent of the Piedmont azalea, but it flowers quite differently along the branches.
6. I’ll end with a deciduous tree that is fabulous this time of year and rather pedestrian the rest of the time–if not dull in winter. The native grancy graybeard or fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) blooms in these tassel-like flowers, which wave gracefully in the breeze.
Now on to the Blount County Master Gardener plant sale. Maybe in an upcoming six on Saturday post I’ll feature all the shrubs, annuals, and perennials I buy today. In the meantime, please visit the site of The Propagator to see links to lovely gardens around the globe, and of course to see guidelines for taking part in this gardening community. Happy plant sale season, everyone.