Today’s Arts Alive! 2015 Home and Garden Festival was a real treat! I’ve been looking forward to this annual event since the middle of January when my husband purchased tickets. Without a doubt, it lived up to all expectations again this year. More than 150 vendors turned out for the event. Though a majority of the vendors appeared to represent businesses and services concerned with home remodeling, utilities, emergency management, health care, insurance and the like, there were also representatives from local nurseries and greenhouses as well as the Texas Master Naturalist Rolling Plains Chapter. Masses of information was available in the areas of garden pest management, Texas invasive plants, rainwater harvesting, composting and perennials and shrubs for the local area.
My favorite part of the Home & Garden Festival? Free seeds! I came home with seeds for Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra), Cinnamon Basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Cinnamon’), two packets of wildflower seed mix with possible seeds listed and another packet of unknown wildflower seeds attached to colored strips of paper (this one compliments of Atmos Energy, our local gas company, imagine that!).
I was definitely excited to find the seeds for the Standing Cypress as I sifted through a basket brimming with various offerings. I’ve read a lot of good things about this biennial and the flowers are simply beautiful. The foliage reminds me of that of the Rocket Larkspur (Consolida ajacis) that’s been in my garden for a number of years.
Also available from one of the vendors was a list of native and adapted perennials and shrubs for our area. I’ve been researching various shrubs for their wildlife attributes as well as their ability to thrive in shade or partial shade. There are a few on this list that I plan to investigate come spring: Fragrant Sumac (Rhus trilobata), Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata), Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii) and American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).
I had a great time at this year’s garden show, as my poor, tired feet can attest! The garden show, along with the beautiful weather we’ve had the past few days, has my fingers itching to dig into the soil and start planting the seeds I picked up today as well as those I’ve been collecting over winter. Alas, speaking of winter, it plans to return to us with a vengeance tomorrow. So I guess my itchy fingers will have to wait a while longer!