Sunday, April 17, 2011

Plant Sale Season

As a gardener, this is one of my favourite times of the year.  There is much to clean up in the garden, there are blossoms and signs of new growth everywhere, and my favourite plant sales to attend.  Today was one of them, the South Burnaby Garden Club's sale held in the Buy Low parking lot in South Burnaby.

Since it started at 9am, and church starts at 10am, I convinced the family to get up early to join me (actually, I gave them the option to let me go on my own, and meet up at the church, but they chose to join me).  My mom is actually a member of the club, so we picked her up on the way there.

Sadly for me, the focus this year was on edibles, but I pretty much have all the herbs that I need, and I really don't do vegetable gardening.  Although I made the exception for a very gorgeous red-veined plant which is slightly sour and can be used in salads.  I am too lazy to go outside to look at the tag for the name.

My delight this year was to pick up a small pot of Mousetail plant (Arisarum proboscideum), which I have since read is a relative of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  It has lovely green spade-shaped leaves, and funny little flower spikes which look like a mouse's tail.  I separated the tiny plants, and put most of them in the fairy garden, and a couple into my native/shade garden. (Click on any image for a slightly larger view.)
Mousetail plant
I also picked up a few more columbine (they weren't labelled for colour, so it will be a surprise), some hellebore seedlings which will apparently be black/dark flowers (wow, can't wait!), a Japanese iris (again not labelled for colour, but I loved the narrow strong leaves), some dark bearded iris, and a few more plants which caught my interest.  Prices at this event are always good, so I came away feeling like I got some bargains, and also supported a local club, so it went to a good cause.

The "big" plant sale for me will be the Van Dusen Gardens sale (Vancouver, BC), which is May 1, 10am - 4pm.  Sadly, it will be early afternoon before I can get there, after church and lunch with the family, but unless the weather is miserable, it is worth it just to enjoy strolling the gardens for free, taking a few photos, and if I pick up some neat plants (as I always do), that is a bonus.

My other favourite plant sale, the BRAGS (Burnaby Rhododendrum and Garden Society) fund raiser, will be held May 1 at Shadbolt Center, in conjunction with the Burnaby Rhododendrum Festival (the rhodo is the official flower of Burnaby).  So not only will it be more crowded, and unlikely to get parking nearby, but it is the same day as the Van Dusen sale.  So this will not be an option for me this year.  Too bad.  Usually I pick up some plants on my way to church, then a few more at 1/2 price (as they are closing up) on the way home from church. 

The weather has been interesting.  Alternating between beautiful sunny days and rain with snow/hail mixed in.  Good thing Friday & today were the sunny days, and both days I got out in the garden for a few hours.  There is much to do, and if I thought of it as a job, trying to remove weeds and straighten out my gardens, I would be overwhelmed.  But I take it as therapy, and do what I can.  By the time I come back inside, I am so exhausted I can hardly walk, but at peace with the world, at least for a little while.

Friday I did a significant clean up of the raspberry patch.  Today, I cleaned in various places, but the most rewarding was to recover the path in the fairy garden, which I built out of smooth stones and shiny marbles, but has been grown over for some time now.  Here it is after today's clean up (and note the Mousetail plants to the right of the house):
Fairy house - still going strong
I marvel at that little fairy house, built from cuttings of my butterfly bush, and roof from my blue oat grass.  It has survived 3 winters now, and still looks amazingly fresh.  I didn't know I was so good at fairy house construction.  If I didn't know how much work it was, I would be tempted to build some more.

Yesterday, between showers, our family took a walk around Deer Lake, but instead of walking the full perimeter, I convinced them to detour through the Century Gardens around Shadbolt Center and the Burnaby Art Gallery.  The gardens were pretty.  I want to end with some photos I took yesterday.

I love this grotesquely contorted tree.  Somewhere I have jotted down the name of it, from the "Burnaby's Great Tree Hunt" book I borrowed from the library, but I don't remember where I put it now.  Hmmm.
Contorted tree at Century Gardens in Burnaby BC
 This was a pretty narcissus, with the double/triple center:
Pretty triple narcissus
The hellebores were in bloom, and there were very large sized clumps of them.  Quite impressive.
I didn't know that trilliums also form a beautiful clump.  I was very happy to see that I have one small white trillium blooming in my garden now, I bought it at the South Burnaby Garden Club sale last year.
Pretty trillium
My daughter April took this beautiful photo of emerging fern fronds.  They look like a sad couple about to embrace.
Emerging fern fronds
I believe this purple beauty is a Primula denticulata:
Primula denticulata


Sunray Gardening said...

Great plants here but I love the little fairy garden and can't believe it held up so well. Obviously you did a great job on it.
Goldenray Yorkies

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful flowers. Like you adorable fairy garden.
Thanks for stopping by and nice comment.
Have a great week.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hooray for the new hellebore seedlings! That's rapidly becoming a favorite pant of mine. Love that dainty little fairy house. What a clever idea. :))

Anonymous said...

Hi I know this post is 5 1/2 years old, but I happened across it today. The tree at deer lake that you photographed is a Camperdown elm - Ulmus glabra 'camperdownii'. It was planted in 1933.

Garden Lily said...

Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii' - yes, that's it for sure. That's so awesome, and I'm grateful to people who will offer information like this, even if 5 years after the post.

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