DELAWARE, Ohio -- Gardeners: There's still plenty of time this season to get your hands dirty. And a special fall plant sale to benefit Ohio State University's Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens Sept. 7-9, will help make your efforts worthwhile.
The sale takes place at Scioto Gardens, a nursery in Delaware County. On that weekend, 20 percent of Scioto Gardens' sales will be donated to the arboretum, thanks to the generosity of Scioto Gardens owners Michael and Linda Johnson.
Scioto Gardens is located at 3351 West State Route 37, Delaware. For directions, visit the nursery's website at http://www.sciotogardens.com. Hours during the sale are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Both Michael and Linda Johnson are alumni of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and are longtime supporters of Chadwick.
"As a student in Dr. (Phil) Kozel's class in 1975, Mike helped plant some of the original plantings" in the arboretum, Linda Johnson said.
Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick, said Scioto Gardens has participated in the arboretum's spring plant sale fundraiser for years, and the Johnsons have worked with Chadwick on countless horticulture projects, including supplying the plant material at Chadwick's rain garden workshops in 2009.
"Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs, as well as perennials, especially if they are purchased in real soil such as those sold at Scioto Gardens," Maloney said. Scioto Gardens also adds specialized mycorrhizae fungal spores to the soil that penetrate the root hairs of the plant, allowing the roots to take up more water, nutrients and minerals than they could otherwise. Normally, the cut-off for planting perennials is mid-September, Maloney said, but perennials grown in real soil can be planted much later into the fall season.
Scioto Gardens specializes in both native and exotic plants. Among the plants available during the sale are:
Aster oblongifolius Raydon's Favorite: This long-blooming perennial with aromatic foliage flowers in the fall. Asters are known as a great host for butterflies.
Callicarpa dichotoma Early Amethyst Beautyberry: This shrub's summertime small light-pink flowers become stunning purple berries in early fall.
Solidago caesia Bluestem Goldenrod: This perennial, famous for attracting butterflies and bees, has arching greenish purple stems that host clusters of bright yellow flowers in the fall.
Spiranthes cernua var. odorata Fragrant Lady's Tresses: This native orchid with shiny green ground-hugging rosettes spreads to form small colonies. Fragrant white flower spikes spiral upward in early fall.
Chelone lyonii Hot Lips Pink Turtlehead: Rose-pink turtle-head shaped flowers bloom in August and September atop lustrous deep-green foliage. This perennial likes moist soil.
Ilex verticillata Red Sprite Dwarf Winterberry Holly: Impressive numbers of large, bright red berries appear in the fall on this compact, rounded shrub with glossy foliage. Must be planted with a pollinator, such as Ilex verticillata Jim Dandy Winterberry Holly.
Lindera glauca var. salicifolia Korean Spicebush: The willow-like foliage on this tall, oval shrub becomes brilliant orange in fall, when its jet-black fruit appears, and remains tan throughout the winter.
For more information about Chadwick, visit its website at http://chadwickarboretum.osu.edu.
Editor: Photos taken by Linda Johnson of Scioto Gardens. To see larger versions, double-click or control-click on the images.