- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The next public sale is Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
We attended the sale on Saturday, Oct. 11 and it was the equivalent of Black Friday (the Friday following Thanksgiving Day). Only this was like "Green Saturday." It was a gathering of green thumbers and wanna-be green thumbers. We delighted in seeing their enthusiasm for plants and pollinators.
Bee enthusiast/UC Master Gardener Tom Tucker of Vacaville was there to display his bee condos, or housing for leafcutting bees and blue orchard bees. The bee condos? They're easy to make, he says. His "bee hat" was all the buzz.
Art was there in the form of ceramic insects that UC Davis Entomology 1 students created under the encouragement and direction of the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program, co-founded and co-directed by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman and artist Donna Billick. Ullman is a professor of entomology at UC Davis and Billick is a self-described "rock artist" who retired from teaching classes at UC Davis in June--but not from art.
Not to be outdone by the ceramic bees, the real bees were there, too. We watched them nectar purple lavender (Lavandula), red blanket flower (Gallardia) and the yellow bulbine (Bulbine frutescens). One good rule of thumb in purchasing plants for pollinators: observe what the pollinators like.
The UC Davis Arboretum website explains it all: "Several times each year, our support group, Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, holds plant sales at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, offering hundreds of different kinds of uncommon garden plants that have been locally grown, including the Arboretum All-Stars, our top recommended plants for Central Valley gardens. Dozens of volunteers work hard all year to grow plants for sale to support the Arboretum. Learn about volunteering at the Arboretum."
Check out the plant list on the website. You can download a PDF or an Excel file.
If you don't know a plant from a hole in the ground (in preparation for a plant, of course), you can ask the experts at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery.