September 2, 2012 in Features

Time to stock up Saturday at Manito Fall Plant Sale

By The Spokesman-Review
Susan Mulvihill photo

Helenium autumnale Red Shades is a hardy perennial that will be available at Saturday’s Friends of Manito fall plant sale.
(Full-size photo)

If you go

The Friends of Manito Fall Plant Sale

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., TFM members can shop at 8 a.m.

Where: East of the Gaiser Conservatory in Manito Park on Spokane’s South Hill, 4 W. 21st Ave.

Lecture and demonstration schedule

10 a.m.: How to make a vertical succulent garden.

11 a.m.: Growing bulbs so you have flowers from January to November.

Noon: How to use plants to attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden.

1 p.m.: How to build a retaining wall.

2 p.m.: Hands-on demonstration on how to put together a drip-irrigation system.

3 p.m.: Putting the garden to bed for the winter.

One of the season’s highly anticipated garden events will take place on Saturday. It’s the fall plant sale presented by The Friends of Manito.

I’ve been a longtime member of The Friends of Manito and always enjoy going to their plant sales because they consistently offer outstanding plants that will do well in Inland Northwest gardens.

For the first time, there will be perennial bulbs available to provide blooms from January to next summer. Tulips, crocuses, alliums, daffodils and all sorts of specialty bulbs will be available. There will even be a lecture on how to grow them at 11 a.m.

While there will be tropical plants, ornamental grasses, shrubs and vines at the plant sale, it is the perennial selection that brings me back year after year. Here are some that I’d like to add to my garden:

• Arisaema (Jack-in-the-Pulpit) Starburst – This plant’s exotic looks belie the fact that it is quite hardy. The vigorously growing Starburst cultivar has silver-veined leaves and green flowers. It prefers part shade and is drought-tolerant. This plant goes dormant in late summer. Height: 2 feet.

• Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart) Gold Heart – Most gardeners are familiar with old-fashioned Bleeding Hearts but the golden leaves of Gold Heart will bring depth and interest to any shady spot in your garden. They are very hardy and have heart-shaped flowers. Height: 2 feet.

• Euphorbia x martinii (Spurge) Ascot Rainbow – If you’re looking for foliage that provides color throughout the growing season, this plant would make a great selection. It has narrow, variegated leaves that are edged in yellow, then turn red and orange in the fall. Spurge is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. Height: 20 inches.

• Miscanthus sinensis (Zebra grass) – I really like the look of Zebra grass with its horizontally banded leaves, but it tends to grow quite large. Little Zebra is a newer cultivar that will only grow 3 to 4 feet in height. It is low maintenance, deer resistant and likes a nice sunny spot in the garden. Its flower plumes are bronze at first, then change to a creamy tan.

• Sedum erythrostictum (Stonecrop) Frosty Morn – Many of us grow Sedum Autumn Joy in our gardens, but here’s something new and different. Frosty Morn has green leaves that are edged in white. The flower heads are comprised of green buds that change to pale pink in the fall. The plants are easy to grow and prefer any type of soil. A bonus is that they attract butterflies. Height: 2 feet.

In addition to the plant sale, there will be live music, activities for children, and free lectures and demonstrations on several gardening topics. As always, the proceeds from this sale will benefit Manito Park. You can find a complete list and photographs of the plants that will be available by going to>

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via email at her blog at for more gardening tips and information.

Get stories like this in a free daily email