This weekend -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- is the semi-annual butterfly plant sale at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park in Dallas. Through my volunteering at the Butterfly House there, I was included on an email last week asking for volunteers to work the plant sale. I jumped at the offer -- and signed up for Saturday. Last night was the volunteer orientation. What I didn't know? As volunteers we would have the opportunity to pre-shop. Oh. My. Gosh.
The evening began with an explanation of how the plant sale would operate -- customer traffic flow, different volunteer positions. Then it moved on to what would be for sale: 16,000 plants. Sixteen Thousand. These are plants that a mere seven people started from seed since .... January. You do the math. We were asked to rank a list of volunteer positions as to which we preferred to do.
Next we were given a tour of the plants by Randy Johnson, Director of Horticulture, who of course is a Master Gardener (a life goal of mine) and who is the main man at Texas Discovery Gardens. He had on old work boots, jeans, sported a pony tail and one of those straw pointy-topped Chinese hats that you see in rice paddy photographs. I don't have to tell you that we all followed him around like ducklings behind the momma duck, slack-jawed. I truly wished I had brought a dictaphone. (And well yes, I have one, but just because it's an occupational hazard. I have a laminating machine too, but that's probably another post.) He would show us the seedling in a pot, and then take us to the garden area where that same plant was 2-3 years old. Along the way he described the benefits of the plant (host or nectar) and if it was an annual, a perennial, or a native perennial. All of them were caterpillar/butterfly friendly, obviously, and all of them were draught tolerant. And the prices! Rock bottom, baby. And all organic.
|Randy Johnson, Director of Horticulture, Texas Discovery Gardens|
And then... we were turned loose with clipboards and plant lists to shop. Not surprisingly, of the 20 or so volunteers, I was one of the last 2 people there. If I could have spent the night I probably would have, despite the presence the purportedly very unfriendly black cat who has residence there. When I left, the backseat of my little Mini was full of pots. I don't know exactly where they will all be planted, but I'm betting that I'll bring more home after my shift on Saturday -- thank goodness I drive a small car. More on the plants I bought in later posts...
Friday night is members only (but you can buy a membership!) and Saturday and Sunday the sale is open to the public. Come on out! http://www.texasdiscoverygardens.org/. From the website:
Our annual Butterfly Plant Sale is back! Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 21, from 10 am to 2 pm. We have hundreds of herbs, perennials, host and nectar plants that will attract pollinators to your garden. We have gallon and 4-inch pots, as well as limited larger sizes. Members receive a ten percent discount and a chance to shop May 20, from 4 pm to 7 pm! You can buy your membership at the sale. Come early for a Plant Safari where you see established butterfly plants at Texas Discovery Gardens and learn about their light/water needs.