Bullington Gardens, a horticultural education center and public botanical garden, is now holding its annual spring plant sale. A descriptive list of offerings with photos can be viewed at www.bullingtongardens.org. Please note that this year’s annual spring plant sale will be held online.
April is an ideal time to plant new shrubs and trees. Kick off your gardening season now with Bullington’s selection of ornamental landscape plants, including many bred by renowned, award-winning Dr. Tom Ranney, NC State Professor of Horticultural Science.
Ranney and his colleagues at Mountain Horticultural Crop Research Station lab in Mills River have introduced more than 40 new cultivars of trees and shrubs. Ranney’s team is particularly proud of their Invincibelle™ smooth hydrangeas of which ‘Spirit II’ was central in raising over $1 million for breast cancer research. Bullington Gardens also offers Ranney’s cultivars of Sweetshrub ‘Aphrodite,’ Beautyberry ‘Pearl Glam’™ and Rhododendron ‘Black Hat’™ plus more. Quantities may be limited.
Spring’s mild weather brings along Bullington Gardens’ wide variety of perennials for sale. The passion for pollinators is predicted to continue in 2021, and Bullington Gardens supports this effort by offering perennials such as yarrow, cornflowers and agastache ‘Mango Tango’. Pollinator-friendly plants play an important role in the New Naturalism movement which strives to nurture local biodiversity. Low maintenance ornamental grasses have been a big hit these past few years, and gardeners can add color and texture to their plantings with red switch grass, little bluestem and golden sedges.
May’s warmer soil temperatures mean it’s time for the more tender plants. Victory vegetable gardens were wildly popular in 2020, and this trend is expected to continue. Gardeners will find many varieties of vegetable starts to feed the body and the palette. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squashes and more are available. Herbs, including lavenders, tarragon, rosemary and lemongrass, are also offered.
Summer annuals such as ‘Orchid Flame’ nasturtium, ‘Strawberry Fields’ gomphrena and ‘Fireworks’ lantana bring color to your garden.
Growing plants and maintaining Bullington’s 12 acres of gardens and grounds is managed by a team of almost 140 volunteers. “We call this special place a ‘garden with heart’,” says Joellen Johnson, volunteer coordinator.
“This event is our single largest fundraiser for the year,” adds John Murphy, Bullington Gardens’ director. “All proceeds benefit our mission to educate and inspire children and adults in horticulture, the natural sciences and integrated disciplines.”
Bullington Gardens is located at 95 Upper Red Oak Trail in Hendersonville. For more information, call Bullington Gardens at 828-698-6104 or visit bullingtongardens.org.