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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007
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Columbine bloom in Master Gardener Fran Waters’ shade garden.
Daily photos by John Godbey
Columbine bloom in Master Gardener Fran Waters’ shade garden.

Get the dirt about plants at annual sale

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Have you ever seen a ghost in a garden?

Ghost fern may be just the plant to grow in a shady garden area.

A successful garden often depends upon choosing the right plants for the type of garden you want, according to Morgan County Master Gardeners, and ghosts may fit right in.

When the Master Gardeners hold their annual plant sale Saturday at the Morgan County Fairgrounds, they will give advice and help you choose the plants you need for your yard.

Members of the group will be selling plants they grew in their greenhouse, as well as some from their own yards.

Here are some types of gardens you may want to consider, said Master Gardener Jan Hooper of Decatur:

  • Shade

  • Butterfly

  • Annual

  • Perennial

  • Sunny

  • Herb

  • Wildflower

  • Succulent

    Another member of the Master Gardeners, Fran Waters, created a shade garden along one side of her Decatur house where little sun reaches.

    Shade plants

    Master Gardener Fran Waters with an ostrich fern in her garden. Get advice about what plants to choose for your garden at the Master Gardeners’ annual plant sale Saturday at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. Members will be selling plants they grew in their greenhouse, as well as some from their own yards.
    Master Gardener Fran Waters with an ostrich fern in her garden. Get advice about what plants to choose for your garden at the Master Gardeners’ annual plant sale Saturday at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. Members will be selling plants they grew in their greenhouse, as well as some from their own yards.
    In the bed she has shade plants such as miterwort, trillium, sedum, Solomon Seal and hostas.

    She has several types of ferns, too, such as Japanese painted fern, Northern maidenhair fern, cinnamon fern and ostrich fern.

    For Waters, a move from 10 acres on the edge of town into Decatur 11/2 years ago meant digging up and moving several hundred plants, too. She also moved bricks and installed them herself on the diagonal to outline her shade bed.

    On one end of her shade bed, she planted rooftop iris, fire pink, toadlily, variegated Soloman’s Seal, yellow stargrass, columbine, blue-star and more. Wild iris would be another possibility.

    “I feel like I can’t live if I don’t have plants,” said Waters.

    She still needs to watch and water her shade bed because of the roof overhang blocking moisture, she said.

    Ghost fern, Boston fern, castle fern, tassle fern, autumn fern, Christmas fern and maidenhair fern will be among the types available at their plant sale, Hooper said, along with Jacob’s ladder and anemones.

    Both Waters and Hooper have been Master Gardeners since taking the series of classes in 1995. Hooper said she learned a lot at the course, sponsored by the Extension office. For example, shade and Bermuda grass won’t share the same area.

    And anyone who has a yard with a lot of trees needs to think about putting in a shade garden, she said.

    If you go

    What: Annual plant sale by Morgan County Master Gardeners

    When: Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Where: Morgan County Fairgrounds, behind Home Depot in Decatur

    Admission: Free, with concessions available; bring clean pots to help the group with its project of raising plants for Hospice of the Valley patients

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