Friday, May 18, 2007

Calling all plant geeks!

I know it's harder to grab plants while holding an umbrella but here are two sales events definitely worth checking out this weekend. (Don't forget to bring those little red wagons!)

Master Gardener Plant Sale at the Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Dutchess County Farm and Home Center, 2715 Rt. 44, Millbrook.
Today through 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Annuals, tropicals & unusual vegetables. Volunteers will answer your gardening questions too!

The IES plant sale is a big event with a broad selection of perennials and woody plants. Included will be native plants, tree peonies (Ooooo, tree peonies!), groundcovers, roses, bird and butterfly favorites, alpine and rock garden plants, deer-resistant varieties, sun-lovers, shade plants, assorted trees and shrubs and more. I NEED more zebra iris, so leave some for me! At the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Gifford Garden, 181 Rt. 44A (Sharon Turnpike), Millbrook
Today through 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


Sarah said...

I went to the IES plant sale Saturday and scored two beautiful, flowering bleeding heart plants (pink and white) for $11 each! I can't wait to plant them!!!!

Leslie Coons said...

Oh – lucky you! Great find! The Dicentra family are wonderful plants! I’m going to guess that you bought Dicentra spectabilis, or the old-fashioned bleeding heart. The kind you’d expect to see in an old farmhouse cutting garden, in a romantic bouquet, or outside an old Victorian home. It’s a beautiful flower that blooms in spring. (I like the white version as well as the classic pink flower.)

I’ve grown one of its “cousins” – Dicentra 'Luxuriant' or fern leaf bleeding heart – for years now. It has deeply cut foliage (hence the “fern leaf”) and pink flowers that are very much like the Dicentra spectabilis, except that they are a bit more modest (smaller and without those impressive draping stems). Not really good for bouquets. But the nice thing about Dicentra 'Luxuriant' is that it usually blooms all summer (in shade, no less) and it self-seeds, which means that every year I get more plants.

By the way, the old-fashioned bleeding heart looks really really good underplanted with another heirloom flower: lily of the valley. LOV multiplies so once you plant it, you pretty much have it forever. I’ve got it in my yard and it’s blooming now – it’s one of my favorite scented flowers.

Kathy said...


Another great place to visit this time of year is Locust Grove where the amazing peony display should be about to burst. A few years ago, a friend and I went there during peony season and picked out peonies we liked, then registered and paid to come back later in the summer when they divided the plants and sold some off.

So we each now have a little bit of Locust Grove in our gardens. I think they still do this at the estate.