Monday, April 29, 2013

Backyard Gardener Festival

This weekend the local Master Gardeners
hosted their annual plant sale.

Most activities were outside in a nearby field.

One of the first tables I came across displayed orchids.

Never saw one with this shade of brownish-red before.

Orchids have a bad reputation for being difficult to care for,
but in our humid climate, they thrive with very little effort.

There were edibles for sale,

as well as a vast array of beauty for the eyes.

Textures were varied.

The contrast between the leaves and the blooms 
on this lovely is stunning!

Just look at the center of the blossom.

Zinnias are a personal favorite.
These were exceptionally large and vibrant.

There were many I'd never seen before.

The foliage was as diverse as the blooms.

There was a demonstration about worm farming on a small scale.

These critters can really improve your garden soil.
It's something I'd like to try.

There were a couple of garden design displays...

to give ideas to those of us who aren't so good at designing.

Rain barrels and mulch could be had for a small price.

This is perennial peanut.
Our city landscaper has used it in town
along the sidewalks throughout the downtown area.

It's drought tolerant, takes sun, heat, cold and some traffic.
It can die back with a freeze, but bounces back.
It's a great choice for the city, 
as it saves money on water and maintenance.

Here's what I brought home.

The perennial peanut will be tried in a test area in the backyard.
If it were up to me, I'd plant it everywhere we currently have sod.
Since we live in a deed-restricted community, 
I don't want to fight the HOA,
so we'll keep it in the backyard, away from prying eyes.
The Asiatic Jasmine will be planted under our weeping elm.
The Society Garlic found a place in our mailbox planter.
The Bald Cypress will be given to a friend 
who has the space to let it go.
Three more blue-eyed grass plants were brought home as well.
(Forgot to get the picture of them.)

All of the new plants join the rest 
of our growing native and Florida-friendly menagerie.
It makes gardening easier and provides habitat for local wildlife.
Enjoy your natives!

The Chicken Chick