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April 17, 2006

Photo of Banksia with hummingbird

Banksia speciosa with hummingbird at the Arboretum
Stephen McCabe

Arboretum offers inspiration for rain-weary gardeners at annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 22

By Tim Stephens

The UCSC Arboretum will hold its annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 22, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. With all the late rain, gardeners are anxious to pick out some favorite plants to be ready for planting when spring finally arrives. Due to soggy conditions in the usual parking area, the location for this year's plant sale has been moved from the Arboretum's Eucalyptus Grove to the main entrance of the Arboretum on Empire Grade, one-quarter mile above the intersection with Western Drive.

A wide variety of native and exotic plants will be available at the sale, including attractive selections of Boronia, Protea, Salvia, Banksia, Leucadendron, and Ceanothus. Knowledgable Arboretum staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

Banksia with hail. Blooming during the recent storm.

Banksia blooming during a recent storm.
Stephen McCabe

The Arboretum's sale is held in conjunction with the spring plant sale of the California Native Plant Society. Both sales are open early (from 10 a.m. to noon) to members of the Arboretum Associates and the California Native Plant Society, and to the general public from noon to 4 p.m.

A complete list of the plants that will be on sale has been posted on the Arboretum's web site.

According to the Arboretum's Stephen McCabe, this rainy year would be a good one to undertake major garden renovations to add color to the garden, because the new plants will have enough water to become well-established during their first summer in the ground. Many of the Arboretum's plants are drought-resistant and will still thrive and flower during a drought once they are established.

Native Ceanothus and Salvia 'Winifred Gilman' provide purple-blue spring color, while some of the African protea relatives bloom in late spring to early summer with yellow, apricot, orange, red, or pink blossoms. Year-round blooms in various colors are some of the advantages of the Arboretum's Australian offerings.

For more information about the sale, contact the UCSC Arboretum at (831) 427-2998. The Arboretum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Norrie's Gifts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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