UGA Trial Gardens Plant Sale – June 25th

The UGA Trial Gardens is hosting a Public Open House on Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. The garden will be featuring guided tours with Dr. Allan Armitage, a plant sale, heirloom tomato tasting, and a book sale/signing. A $5 donation is requested upon entry (make checks payable to “The Gardens”). For more information visit: or email

I’ve been to many open houses here and it is well worth a drive. If you are going, here is my list of essentials to pack:

Hat, water, and sunscreen. There are many wonderful things in this garden, but not a lot of shade.

Totes. Who can resist a plant sale? So, since you know you are getting plants, come prepared. Clear out your trunk and bring a wagon or a couple totes to carry the plants. I love the bright plastic, round totes with handles that you can smoosh together to carry in one hand.

Camera. Oh my, if you love taking pictures you will love this garden!

Paper and pencil or a smart phone to take notes.

Stamina. Yes this is a great open house, but Athens is full of wonderful restaurants, specialty nurseries and gardens. Do a little research and plan a whole day.

I have put plants in an ice chest (without the ice) to keep them out of the sun and a little insulated on the drive home. Beware of leaving plants in a sunny, closed car while you walk into an air conditioned restaurant. The temperature can soar in just a few minutes. Leave the windows open a bit and look for a shaded parking spot (or eat really, really fast).

2 Great Gardening Weekends in Athens

OK plant nuts, listen up! If you are looking for a road trip or are lucky enough to live nearby, clear your calendars for two special gardening weekends in Athens.

The first is Apriil 9th, when the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, UGA Trial Garden and the UGA Horticulture Club decided to have their plant sales from 8:00am to 2:00pm on the same day – a Plantapolooza! So if you want to find unusual plants, ask horticulturists and Master Gardeners their advice (bring a few photos of your garden – that helps communication), or just feel like celebrating spring by plant shopping, then come to Athens. The State Botanical Garden will emphasize native plants, food crops and Georgia Gold medal winners among their wide selection. Allan Armitage will be leading tours and signing books at the UGA Trial Garden. Find out more about these sales at If you are a Friend of the State Botanical Garden, you can start shopping Friday night at the preview sale (a few of the best things sell out that night), plus members receive 10% off purchases at the State Botanical Garden sale and in the new gift shop. The Friends of the Garden “Members Only” Preview Sale will be held Friday, April 8, 5:00pm-7:00pm in the Visitor Center & Conservatory. If you aren’t a Friend of the Garden, you can buy a membership outside of the sale that night. That leaves Saturday open to not only shop the other two sales but… (insert drumroll here):

Several area nurseries are offering discounts to people who have been to these three plant sales. The more you shop, the more you save. For visiting one, two or all three of the Plantapalooza sites, you earn 5%, 10% or 15% (respectively) off your total purchase that day at the following participating local retailers. Participants will receive a card which will be stamped at the Botanical Garden, Trial Gardens and Horticulture Club sales.

Cofer’s Home & Garden Showplace

1145 Mitchell Bridge Road

Athens, GA 30606-6411

(706) 353-1519

Store Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Goodness Grows

332 Elberton Road

Lexington, GA 30648

(706) 743-5055

Store Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

Thyme After Thyme

550 Athens Road

Winterville, GA 30683-1535

(706) 742-7149

Store Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

Thomas Orchards, Greenhouse and Giftshop

6091 Macon Highway

Bishop, GA 30621-1468

(706) 769-5011

Store Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Specialty Ornamentals

3650 Colham Ferry Rd,

Watkinsville, Georgia 30677

(706) 310-0143 ‎

Eastside Ornamentals

120 Walter Sams Road

(Off Highway 78 East)

Winterville, GA 30683

(706) 543-5500

Store Hours: 9:00am-4:00pm

The following weekend will be a great weekend in Athens for gardeners too. Saturday, April 16th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm will be The Piedmont Gardeners 18th Annual Garden Tour of Athens. See for photos of the 5 lovely gardens on tour this year. This is a very successful and popular annual garden tour. I’ve been to many of these tours and have always had a wonderful time. I’ve toured two of this year’s gardens and – oh my! – they are amazing – so worth the $20 ticket price ($15 in advance)! Bring a camera, plus paper and pen. Then once you have that list of plants you cannot live without, go back to the nurseries listed above, because Thomas Orchards in Watkinsville, Cofer’s in Athens and Thyme After Thyme in Winterville (maybe more) will have open houses in their nurseries, including specials and Master Gardeners to answer questions.

Athens is a great gardening town. If you feel like taking a breather, stroll the State Botanical Garden of Georgia ( to see Forged from Nature: An Exhibition of Garden Gates. You’ll view amazing sculpted gates by Andrew T. Crawford that are 6’-10’ tall among the many plants in bloom.

Four Reasons Knitters Grow Lavender in their Garden:

1- To repel pests from the yarn stash.
2- To make charming homemade sachets that add to a hand-knit gift and make it smell so wonderful when it is opened.
3- To add to lemonade served to friends when they come over to knit.
4- Because it is so lovely growing in the garden!

In the Southeast the key to growing lavender is really good drainage.

There will be 6 varieties of lavender sold at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s Spring Plant Sale this weekend ( in Athens. The entire plant catalog is now on the Garden’s website. If you would like to see a list of plants, please click on
Also, there will be a special sale in the Garden Gift Shop.

Plant Sale hours:
Saturday, April 10, 8:00am-2:00pm, Everyone welcome
Friends members get into a Friday pre-sale, plus receive discounts both Friday and Saturday.