Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fall Plant Sale Preview

By Erika Zambello

The 2014 Fall Plant Sale is only a few weeks away, and here at Duke Gardens we're gearing up for one of the best sales ever. To give you a preview, curator Jason Holmes selected some of his favorite plants that will on sale Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m.-noon (with a preview sale for Gardens members from 8-9 a.m.). Adding to the allure of this sneak peek, all plants featured in this article have been propagated from Duke Gardens!

First up, the toad lily. We will be selling multiple varieties with different coloration patterns, such as white with purple spots, purple with white spots, and variegated and unvariegated leaves. Toad lilies are shade lovers, and they will bloom in late summer and early fall. They are excellent attractors for pollinators, but they are also attractive to rabbits.

toad lily

This year Duke Gardens will also sell an unusual sage, which is shade loving and produces yellow flowers. Japanese yellow sage (Salvia koyamae) grows to about 2 feet high, and it will bloom throughout the summer.

Japanese yellow sage (Salvia koyamae)
The garden mums at the Fall Plant Sale are another unusual variety. They're perennials and will bloom in the fall year after year. The mums grow in full sun to light dappled shade, and they can grow to 2.5-feet tall. There are multiple colors available for sale, including pink, off-white, purple and yellow.

garden mum
The ginger lilies at the sale are difficult to find in regular greenhouses. Duke Gardens will sell two varieties, Hedychium greenii and Hedychium coccineum. The former has rare red flowers as well as reddish underleaves, and it will bloom throughout the fall. Reaching a height of 3 feet, this variety is a hardy plant. By contrast, the latter can reach impressive heights of 6 feet, with orange-red blossoms. Both grow in full sun to partial shade and are perennial species.

ginger lily
Last but definitely not least, the plant sale will include the iconic American beautyberries. These trees reach 8 feet tall, and in the fall they feature gorgeous purple berries. These berries are not only beautiful, they are magnets for natural pollinator and bird species.

American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

The Fall Plant Sale will feature these fun plants as well as many more. Stay tuned for further updates, and come check it out for yourself!

Parking is free during the sale, which will be behind the Doris Duke Center. If you'd like to get first dibs on plants by attending the member preview sale, and you're not yet a member, you can join in advance by calling 919-668-1711. You may also join on site the morning of the sale. Membership information here.

More information on our website.

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