UT Gardens Plant Sale 2011

On a super sunny sultry Saturday last September…

…We visited the University of Tennessee hort campus for their annual fall plant sale.

This is a garden that is open to the public. It changes from year to year with the plantings shifted and improvements made using the free labor provided by the students attending the Horticultural School.

It is a good place to get ideas for the Fairegarden

…And learn stuff. The sign reads: How is the Garden growing? Power Plant Garden (center) Plants valued as energy producers and alternatives to fossil fuels. Cool.

This year it looks like the hort school has teamed up with the art school, for there were several new additions out and about.

Daughter Semi was captured in some of the images to give perspective of size. Yes, she is height challenged, like her mother.

The garden exploration was limited that day due to the setting up of a wedding in the rose garden. This might just be me, but it seems the florist did not do their homework colorwise, for those UT oranges were not blending well with the pink roses. And this is from the eyes of a person who believe all of Nature’s colors go together. Not this time they don’t, but may the happy couple enjoy a lifetime of wedded bliss anyway.

Since it was a plant sale, a few items were purchased, including this Carex morrowii ‘Silver Spectre’. The literature said it was related to C. ‘Ice Dance’, which loves the dry sloping clay conditions back home so we decided to give it a go. Also purchased: Kniphofia hirsuta ‘Traffic Lights’, Primula ‘Miss Indigo’ and Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’.

There was a plant being tested that looked to be an aster of some sort, very similar to Heterotheca villosa ‘Ruth Baumgardner’, only shorter. I gave it high marks!

We had raced over to the sale after a little league baseball game in which offspring of Semi, LTB had played well, hitting it to the fence several times. He was tired and not particularly happy about being in the gardens. Semi wasn’t into plant mode either, and they were packing up the tables to shut down before the wedding guests started arriving. Maybe next year we can go earlier.

More posts about the UT gardens:

UT Fall Plant Sale-2009

UT Blooms Days June 2008


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13 Responses to UT Gardens Plant Sale 2011

  1. gardeningasylum says:

    That looks like a lovely day out, with art, family, and most of all plants to buy and try! Now in Raleigh, I appreciate so much the horticultural resources at N.C. State, where plantaholics find a happy home – sounds like UT is also a welcoming spot!

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. It is a great place and we should go more often. It is always a delight. Being able to buy plants that are often unavailable elsewhere even better. Plantaholics R US.

  2. Lucky y’all. I went to the UT gardens once on a girl friend garden tour with other volunteers from the JC Raulston Arboretum and had a fabo time. Too bad there were not plants for sale during my visit there. Glad there were for you. H.

    Thanks Helen. I love to go visit this and the arboretum during the plant sales. A twofer!

  3. Layanee says:

    It looks like a very warm day there, showing on the faces of your loved ones. I am so glad you mentioned the Carex as I have been contemplating a plant for a dry, sloping spot and that one may just fit the bill. Now, if only I could find a big tray of plugs somewhere! I love to travel on Fridays, by the way.

    Thanks Layanee. My family was not as thrilled about being there as I was, it is true. The Carex prefers damper, but that is really not present here. The color brightens well. I divided the plants I bought when planting, and will keep dividing until the space is filled. Loved your travels today, BTW!

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Looks like it was a nice day even if it was cut short. I like the wildflower. I have a wet/dry spot I could grow it in. Love those big sculptures. Have a great weekend Frances.

    Thanks Lisa. I hope they bring the yellow wildflower to market, too. We need more wildflowers! The sculptures were cool, I didn’t remember seeing them last time we were at the gardens. You too have a great weekend, Lisa.

  5. Laurrie says:

    Interesting place, and I like their innovations in trial plants for public comment and growing energy producing plants. I loved that big rusted grasshopper!

    Thanks Laurrie. Looking back at it now, I believe the grasshopper was part of the alternative fuel display. An old oil tank turned into art.

  6. Gail says:

    Frances, This looks like a great sale! The prices and offerings look good~Would love to have another ‘Ruth B’ in the garden! Love the new sculptures and even if Semi is height challenged the grasshopper is huge! I really like their use of purple. xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. You need to come over to Knoxville next fall to partake! I am sure Ruth would be glad to help you add more of her asters to your garden!

  7. michaele says:

    The UT Trial Garden is such a great resource and always a treat to meander through. I love how they are not afraid of perennials that get really large since the scale of their grounds can support the big guys.
    When I first moved to the area from New England many years ago, visiting those gardens taught and inspired me a lot. I really got an appreciation for creating free standing beds with sweeping curves.
    What is the dark stemmed purple flowered plant in the first photo? The angle of your picture certainly flatters it as it contrasts so nicely with the white of the pergola.
    Thank heavens for generously placed benches for those whose energies are waning. Your grandson looks like he has practice waiting it out and, how nice, he had some great hits to think back on.

    Thanks Micheale. These gardens are such a boon to anyone who wants to see how to grow beautiful plants in our locale. They have the space, the greenhouses and the students to do the work. There are many great ideas for plant combinations, too. The purple flower is the purple hyacinth bean, an ornamental veggie. The pergola is really a pale lavender, as all the wood in the new picket fenced veggie garden is painted. It was a hot day and they were tired. But I got a few plants and a few photos. All good!

  8. Carolyn says:

    Your post is a sight for sore eyes… your vibrant greens are a great start to my day! What a wonderful place to visit.

    Thanks Carolyn. I have found that photos that were thought not up to par at the time taken look pretty dadburned good in the middle of winter. Even a mild winter as the one we are experiencing.

  9. I can’t believe we didn’t already know about this!! Thanks so much because I sure plan on us going to the next sale !! It looks like such they have such unique gardens there.

    Good deal, Alicia! Watch the newspaper for the dates, it changes. There are also some spring sales, too. Lots to see and plenty of good ideas there.

  10. Love the sculptures in the garden. That grasshopper is HUGE! Nice taste of summer’s full color, thanks.

    Thanks for visiting, Janet. This is a very fine garden. I love going, and getting a few extra plants to help support them, too.

  11. Dee says:

    All that scrumptious purple! I wish I’d been there with you and Semi. It would have been extra fun. Let me know how the carex does.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. That purple was really beautiful. The super sunny day sort of washed it out in the photos. I wish you had been there, too. Maybe someday… So far so good with the Carex.

  12. ricki says:

    I think I need to start a hort school…just imagine what could be accomplished with free student labor. Oh, wait…I would have to learn a lot more, which might just be harder than doing the work myself.

    Wouldn’t it be grand, Ricki? Think of those young backs able to dig and weed and plant? Learning is good, too. Hire the best professors!

  13. What a fun day! I agree–the orange and the pink in this situation just don’t work. Otherwise everything looks beautiful and welcoming. I love the purple trim around the garden beds in the first few photos. I wouldn’t like it in my garden–but it’s great in that setting!

    Thanks Plant Postings. It was a fun day and the UT gardens are wonderful to visit anytime. The lavender fences, archways and pergola looked lovely in the hot summer sun, something different and eye catching. The wedding colors of orange were standard for a University of Tennessee wedding, but against the hot pink of the roses, …. oh well. I am sure it was grand anyway.

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