Plant sale, garden fair planned for Union

Apr 19, 2014
Fragrant flowers eastern beebalm provide nectar for bees and butterflies; aromatic foliage makes great tea.

Union — Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District holds its Spring Plant Sale, Backyard Conservation Sale & Garden Fair at Union Fairgrounds Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Don’t miss this annual fundraising event that supports the district's education programs and is designed to satisfy one's spring planting desires and promote conservation at home.

The sale offers bareroot fruit trees, berries, and asparagus roots for the edibles garden; bareroot native trees and shrubs for conservation, wildlife, and landscape plantings; and organically grown native perennials in one-gallon pots to attract bees and butterflies. New this year, we have teamed up with Waldo SWCD and Maine Resource Recovery Association to help build soil and conserve water by offering Earth Saver compost bins, pails, turners, and rain barrels at discount prices. These items may be pre-ordered through May 4 for pick-up May 27.

This year we have a well-stocked selection of more than 100 varieties – 44 new – including Pristine, a disease-resistant summer apple; Wolf River apple, an old-time favorite; Reliance peach, perhaps the hardiest peach available; Balaton and Jubileum pie cherry; Bartlett, Sunrise and Blake’s Pride pear; and even a hardy plum! Highbush blueberry (five varieties), raspberry, blackberry, black raspberry, and three varieties of strawberries round out the edibles. New this year are three native ferns for those shady places and many new native trees, shrubs, and vines – including coralberry, American hazelnut, buttonbush, yellow-twig dogwood, blackhaw and ninebark – all selected for sunny, shady, wet, or dry sites. Add to this new perennials from Rebel Hill – such as Queen of the prairie, yellow coneflower, tall bellflower, and eastern beebalm – to create a garden that will provide habitat for birds and pollinators, eliminate erosion and runoff, and add color and texture throughout the year.

On Saturday, the Garden Fair includes talks, demonstrations, and exhibits to provide answers to a wide range of plant and conservation concerns:

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — All About Pollinators with Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers

10 to 11 a.m. — Fruit Tree Pruning demonstration with Cheryl Denz of Terra Optima Farm

11:30 to noon — Native Perennial Picks with Pete Bickford of Rebel Hill Farm

Terra Optima Farm Market in Rockland will have a bake sale, Thomaston Grammar School’s 5th grade will sell vegetable seedlings to support their Common Ground Garden.

On Saturday and Sunday, Hidden Valley Nature Center will sell bluebird nesting box kits and take orders for picnic tables and garden benches. Proceeds support HVNC’s sustainable forestry education programs.

For more information, visit knox-lincoln.org/spring-plant-sale/, knox-lincoln.org/backyard-sale/(online ordering available), email info@knox-lincoln.org, call 596-2040, or drop by the office at 893 West St. (Route 90) in Rockport. Proceeds of the sale benefit the conservation district’s education and outreach programs.

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