Today, Sabina and I went to the plant sale at the USF Botanical Gardens. It was an overcast day (thankfully) and the event was well attended. This was the first time we had been to the plant sale, it was well organized (this was definitely not their first rodeo, lol), had spectacular plants and it turned out to be a great day.
Many of the guests brought their own carts, which was a good idea. I don’t own one so I didn’t. I had a bag but quickly I resorted to leaving my plants with the vendor from whom I purchased it so that I could move on and purchase more! 😉
I had reviewed the vendor list and vendor map prior to attending, so I had a pretty good idea of the types of plants I would be seeking. Sabina was most interested in exotic foliage plants… and boy did they have a lot of those.
Plumeria, hibiscus, and shade plants were top on my agenda. At the first booth, “Florida Plant Nursery,” I purchased a roselle hibiscus from which I could make tea. At the exotic booth, I snagged a pink pinstriped calathea from Shamika of “My Crazy Plant Life” which is absolutely stunning!
While seemingly well attended, one vendor mentioned that during the autumn plant sale there is no room to walk. It is 90 degrees here in June and many snowbirds have left for northern climes. We felt particularly fortunate because it was overcast and threatening rain, which also likely kept the crowds and the temperature down.
Since frangipani/plumeria was a top priority for me, I spent a lot of time scouring over the different types of trees for sale. The vendor, Southern Blooms, had a table of plumeria flowers so you could see the colors and smell the delicious fragrances unique to each breed. I selected a potted “Charlotte” with three branches, a sign that the plant has already bloomed at least once. They also had newly sprouted bare “stick cuttings” for sale as well.
Without a cart, I felt I would lose track of my purchases leaving them behind at each tent. But, regardless, we moved forward to explore all the wonderful plant offerings! There were so many vendors, with so many gorgeous plants, it was almost overwhelming. I had to stay focused!
One of my favorite stops was “MAD Plants” with Bonny Harrell. She had black and white varieties of bat plants, tons of alocasias, bananas, and gingers. I fell in love with “Scarlet Fever” hidden curcuma ginger. Then, as I turned around, I saw it! A plant I had been searching for for a year: Tractor Seat Ligularia/Farfugium! Bonny mentioned that they are tissue propagated and that’s why they were difficult to find. Both of the plants pictured below are larger in person ;-).
At the USF plant store, I purchased jacobia, white pentas, an old fashioned hibiscus (which I think means Rose of Sharon) and a music note clerodendrum. Somewhere along the line I also picked up three white peace lilies and a menehune crinum.
This is me super ecstatic that Bonny enlightened me to the plant holding area with free shuttle service to the parking lot! YEEHAW!
Sabina and I also toured the USF Botanical Gardens. I’ll have more photos to show you in an upcoming post.
Here are some of the items purchased on day 2: bird’s nest fern, hawaiian punch elephant ear, black bat, fiesta hibiscus standard, viente cohol banana, 4 plumeria sticks, more white pentas, a walking iris, white cromeliands, a cassia tree and more spath lilies.