As some of you may have heard this past weekend, I wanted to have Dr. Paul Nester's recent write-up concerning Fire Ant Controls on this week's email tip. However, in looking at the calendar, I didn't want to short-change the Mercer March Mart, like we did last year. You see, last year we sent out the March Mart announcement one day before the actual event. And if I waited until next week to make that announcement again, it too would be one day before the event. So, with that in mind, we will publish Dr. Nester's Fire Ant Info next week on our GardenLine email tip of the week.
Next weekend (Actually, it's a Friday and Saturday March 18-19), at the Mercer Arboretum is an annual event that local gardeners look forward to. It's the March Mart. Besides the plants of distinction for this area that they always have, this year they are also trying their hand at fruit trees for the area - Citrus to be exact. But with less 50 of each category, they will go fast. TRANSLATION = If you want citrus for this area, you better get there early on Friday.
Here's the letter I asked one of my listeners (anonymously) to write about the March Mart and why they attend every year. And hopefully it will interest you to attend this year and give them a helping hand financially and get you some plants specific for our region - plants you will never find a big box store nursery. Again, this year's March Mart is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 18-19.
"First I think the Mercer March Mart always has the best selection of hard-to-find and rare plants, along with a wide variety of natives, tropicals and trees that thrive in the Houston climate.
Nevertheless, there are many other reasons why I shop at March Mart every year, and the most important reason for me is that all of the sale's proceeds go back into the gardens. The Mercer Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, sponsors the sale to support special projects, which is very important to the continued success of Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.
In addition to the wide variety of hard-to-find and rare plants, March Mart always has the tried-and-true favorites in all sizes and colors. Plants sold at March Mart have been proven to grow well in our area; they can tolerate the Houston heat and rain! Another reason I shop at March Mart is because of the wealth of knowledge available behind the smiling faces of the volunteers and staff members. Everywhere you look, the volunteers and staff can be found assisting shoppers with information on the plants being sold, or giving advice on when, where and how to plant your great finds.
Best of all: March Mart is stress free! Volunteers and staff have done everything possible to make the plant sale a fun and relaxing event. Wagons can be checked out to carry purchases; shuttle service to and from parking areas is provided; drinking water is available throughout the park; refreshments can be purchased; gardening exhibits are set up in the new plaza courtyard; gardening experts are available to meet with you; there are many beautiful and shady areas to rest, and as I have already mentioned, lots of helpful advice and smiling faces.
As I shop at March Mart each year, and as I select my plants, I get so excited about spending the weekend finding just the right spot in my garden for each plant. Planting my March Mart purchases always reminds me that Spring is here and it's time to smell the flowers, look carefully for a butterfly fluttering amongst the pentas, listen for the cries of baby birds, and to relax under a shade tree."
Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 facility located at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, one mile north of FM 1960. Harris County Precinct 4 programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. Anyone requiring special assistance to participate in any program, or for more information, please contact Mercer at 281-443-8731.
If you would like to learn more about the Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens,
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.