This year’s selection will be no less spectacular than in previous years, said University of Georgia (UGA) Research and Education Garden officials.
“We have people travel 70-plus miles to come to this plant sale. We always have a little something different,” said research and education horticulturist Tony Johnson.
In addition to knockout roses and double knockout roses, there will be plenty of the resilient Peggy Martin or Katrina roses.
Louisiana resident Peggy Martin’s garden of 450 old roses was known as one of the most important collections in the south prior to being drowned under 20 feet of salt water during Hurricane Katrina.
By the time the land cleared and dried, only one rose remained. The Peggy Martins at Saturday’s sale are from the original plant, Johnson said, and part of the proceeds from the sale of Peggy Martin will be donated back to the Katrina Rebuilding Fund for the gardens of the Gulf Coast.
The Peggy Martins will also be in limited number. The same applies for the Griffin Blue Butterfly Bush, which comes from a seedling cut by UGA Professor Michael Dirr.
“The plant is on the market now, but our cuttings come from the original plant,” Johnson said. “It’s a little bit darker shade of blue and grows from six to eight feet.”
A big focus for the sale, said UGA Master Gardener Krissy Slagle, will be do-it-yourself kits.
“It’s got everything in it,” Slagle said about a vegetable and herb kit. “There’s a tomato and four heat-tolerant spinaches, a little thing of herbs and two or three different kinds of peppers.”
There will be other combinations for shade and sun as well as the red and black combination that will include verbenas, dark black millet, petunias. The Georgia-themed trays will only include red, black and white plants.
“We’ve spoken with some retailers and their sales are actually up because people, in hard times, will actually go out and get a little bit of something,” Johnson said. “We’re thinking containers will be the big things this year because you can put a lot of color there and they are easy to take care of and you can move them around.”
All-in-all, the sale will include annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs, roses and irises.
The 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. sale will be held under a big tent in the West Ellis Road garden. For directions and more information, visit www.ugagarden.com.