The Second Annual Battery Plant Sale

Last week, I took note of the Second Annual Battery Plant Sale as one of the upcoming events I'd hoped to attend. During my lunch break today, I was about to get there.

I got in some good aerobic and agility training as well, speed-walking the sidewalks of lower Broadway packed with lunchtime crowds of office workers and throngs of tourists who don't know where they are and don't know how to stand on a sidewalk (step aside, please, out of the way of those of with someplace to go!).

I told my partner I was only going to get four plants. Right. Once I was there, I couldn't help myself. Here are the eleven I picked up today:
  • Agastache foeniculum "Blue Fortune"
  • Aster oblongifolius "October Skies"
  • Aster divaricatus
  • Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta
  • Carex platyphylla
  • Molinia caerulea "Moorflamme"
  • Nepeta racemosa "Walker's Low"
  • Pycnanthemum muticum
  • Schizachrium scoparium "The Blues"
  • Sporobulus heterolepis
  • Veronicastrum virginicum
There had to be thousands of individual plants available for purchase. The plants and their tables were well-labeled. Each table had a standing sign with a color photo of the mature plant or a detail of its features, such as flowers. The sign included basic cultural information such as light requirements (most were full sun), water, and so on. For species and cultivars, it also included information about the country or region of origin. All the plants were potted up in containers of the same size, and the side of each container had a label with the name of the plant.

There were also lots of helpers and volunteers on hand to help out. I think there were more of them than us, the shoppers. In retrospect, I wish I had asked for some suggestions, such as any native plants they had. I couldn't discern any particular order to how the plants were arranged, such as alphabetical by name, or grouped by cultural requirements.

The selection was excellent, as you can see even from my "short" list above. However, in advance of showing up there today, there was no way to know what one would find. The only information on their Web site was a flyer of photos and plant names from last year's sale. Only when I went to checkout did I find this year's flyer, and a complete list of information on each plant. These should have been available in advance of the sale, and at the entrance. I told the woman who handled my purchase that these weren't available on their Web site. She said that "because they're perennials", they're the same as last year.

Um, NOT. There were 37 plants listed last year. This year, there were 63 plants, nearly double. In addition, only 22 of last year's plants made it onto this year's list. 15 of last year's plants didn't make the cut; several of them were ones I had highlighted on my copy of last year's flyer. Of the plants available this year, 41 - 2 out of 3 - were new.

They need to advertise when and where the sale is held. The Battery is a large park, and there was nothing on their Web site to show where in the Battery the sale would be. Within the park, there were no signs or other markers to even say there was a sale going on, let alone where it might be. After searching for 5 minutes for any sign, I found two helpful guys driving by in a Parks truck who knew exactly where I needed to go. It took me another 5 minutes to get there.

Sorry, no pictures of the event. I'd forgotten about it until I got into work today, and I didn't bring my camera with me. I'll update with pictures of the plants themselves when I have a chance.

1 comment:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Great list, Xris. I just bought carex platyphylla from High Country Gardens on a whim--if the one that arrived last week does okay, I think I'll want more. I love the leaves!

The only other plant on your list that I have is 'The Blues' little bluestem. I have 6 of them, but I already want more--this might be my favorite grass. (It's at least in the top 3 with 'Sioux Blue' sorgahstrum nutens, and hakonechloa macra 'aureola'...)