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Find more water-wise plants at Arboretum sale

Monch asters bloom in fall and are popular with bees. The UC Davis Arboretum plant sale will include some of these plants. (Photo courtesy UC Davis Arboretum)

Stock replenished after nursery attracted huge crowd for first fall event

Plenty of great water-wise plants are still available at the UC Davis Arboretum’s fall sale, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. This sale is open to the public for the entire event; admission is free.

After being mobbed during the first sale Sept. 28, the nursery’s tables are full again. For its three fall sales, the arboretum grew more than 25,000 plants in about 700 varieties.

Arboretum nursery manager Taylor Lewis is never sure what’s going to be a hit.

“Deerweed; it flew out the door!” Lewis said of a best-seller at the arboretum’s fall opener. “If I had known, I would have grown more. Cascade Creek (goldenrod); I had 75 one-gallon (plants). Next thing I knew, they were gone.”

The turnout for the sale exemplified the popularity of the arboretum’s plants, many of them unavailable anywhere else. The arboretum nursery specializes in drought-tolerant flowering shrubs, perennials, bulbs and trees, including many California natives.

“People started lining up at 8 a.m.,” Lewis said. “By 9 a.m., we had 300 people waiting to come in. We had more than 1,500 people come through the door. It was one of the biggest events we’ve ever had.”

Lewis and his staff have been growing plants for this sale for months, if not years. For Saturday’s sale, he has another amazing assortment including California fuchsia, penstemons and coffeeberry.

“I’m really loving the Monch aster,” Lewis said. “It looks beautiful this time of year. I see so many bees on those flowers! It’s a great choice for pollinators.”

Friends of the Arboretum receive a discount. New members can join at the door.

After Saturday’s event, the arboretum nursery will host its clearance sale Nov. 2. The nursery is located on Garrod Drive near the small-animal veterinary hospital.

Find a plant inventory list online along with more details and directions: .


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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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