The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 28, 2013

Jo Ellis: Plant sales blooming in area

By Jo Ellis
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — If the axiom “April showers bring May flowers” holds true, we should have an overabundance of flowers popping up next month. April truly has been a cool, wet month.

Friday was a good example. I wondered if it would ever stop raining. At least my windows are clean.

If, like me, you haven’t planned ahead and planted those bulbs and seeds in the ground, you’re still in luck because some other more dedicated gardeners have done it for you.

Not only can you reap the rewards of their effort, you can help some worthy community organizations at the same time — because this is the season for plant sales.

Case in point is the Ozark Master Gardeners plant sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Powers Museum, 1617 Oak St. in Carthage. The sale this year will be set up in a slightly different spot on the east side of the museum.

Debbie Fedie, a member of the plant sale committee, is also a volunteer at the Crosslines community garden in Joplin, where she has been raising about 25 varieties of tomatoes for the sale. A dozen or so are heirloom tomatoes that are sometimes hard to find. They will be available along with more common varieties such as Rutgers, which are especially suited to this area.

The offerings will include several types of squash, watermelon, pumpkin, Swiss chard and annual herbs. Also available are thornless blackberries, red raspberries and hanging flower baskets, along with various perennial flowers, shrubs, bare root bulbs and trees.

“These are tried and true plants grown by people in our local area who have been successful enough to share them,” Fedie said. Care has been taken to harden the plants so they will easily acclimate to the outdoors.

Six-packs and small pots of flowers will range from $1.50 to $2.50, bulbs from 50 cents to $1. Shrubs and trees will go for $6 to $20, depending on size. Proceeds support Master Gardener projects and help subsidize training for new members.

This past year, 14 people completed Master Gardener certification, and 33 maintained certification by donating at least 20 hours to community projects and earning an additional six hours of continuing education.

The following Saturday, May 11, the Family Literacy Council holds its annual plant sale at Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Howard St. in Carthage. A large selection of flowering baskets will be sold for $15 each between 8 and 11 a.m. There are no pre-orders this year, so you must be there early if you want a choice. The Literacy Council contributes to several educational activities.

Hint: This is just in time for Mother’s Day if you’re stuck for an idea.

Address correspondence to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email news@joplinglobe.com.