Fill your wagon at Springs Preserve plant sale

Don’t miss the Springs Preserve annual autumn plant sale. It’s Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd.

The sale is your opportunity to choose from 2,500 vibrant and colorful Mojave Desert adapted plants, sold in one- and five-gallon sizes, as well as a handful of larger specimen plants.

Bring a wagon or cart to help you collect your prize plants. The preserve has a limited supply of carts available for use.

If you are a Springs Preserve member, you are invited to take advantage of a special preview sale from 7 to 8 a.m.

If plants could talk, they’d be screaming to be planted in the fall. Our cooler days and nights provide a perfect opportunity for them to establish a vigorous root system for the brutal summers ahead. This is the biggest reason for the fall plant sale.

Indigenous and desert-adapted plants offer numerous advantages for your landscape, not the least of which is their water-saving qualities. Their low maintenance also means you’ll spend less time caring for them, compared with plants that have a more difficult time growing in our environment. They also provide habitat and feeding grounds for wildlife and birds.

Because plant species native to the Mojave Desert have evolved over centuries, they are well adapted for our poor soils, sparse rainfalls and heat and cold extremes. They are hardy plants that resist pests and need little nourishment. Are you stumped about how to use your new plants? You’ll find plant groupings to assist you in choosing species to complement each other, either in color and textures, or tolerances to environmental conditions, such as plants thriving in full sun or in shade.

Are you thinking about converting your landscape, but haven’t done it yet? At the sale, you can gather ideas about the variety of colorful species that will work well in a water-efficient landscape.

Here are some plants that you’ll love in your yard.

■ Red yucca brakelights: This yucca is new and causing a lot of excitement in the plant industry. It’s a first truly red flowering yucca becoming a real attention grabber. That’s why it earned the name “brakelights.” It blooms freely all summer flagging down hummingbirds to collect its nectar. It’s ideal for hot locations and in containers or massed into groups.

■ Hummingbird bush: It is also known as California fuchsia. What a winner and attention getter in any fall garden. Its finger-long masses of flaming red trumpetlike flowers are loaded with nectar to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

■ Regal mist ornamental grass: It’s one of our most attractive ornamental grasses because of its misty deep pinkish-red flowering spikes. They rise above the foliage to become really attractive, especially when backlit by early morning or late-afternoon sun.

■ Hacienda creeper: It resembles Virginia creeper but is much smaller and slower growing. This self-climbing, deciduous vine with bright green leaves turns a deep red in the fall and will really grab your attention.

■ Sierra gold dalea: This durable groundcover grows quickly to produces a dense blanket of bright green foliage and smells faintly lemony when crushed. In tight settings, it’s an excellent filler. Small yellow flowering spikes carpet the plant in the spring and fall if it gets plenty of sun. Prune it back by half in the early spring so it doesn’t become rangy. You’ll love it in rock gardens, by patios or along borders.

■ Palmer’s penstemon: This perennial is one of the largest penstemons and will be a winner when your flowers burst into bloom. Use it in back of a border or along your pathway to enjoy its fragrance. Give it plenty of sun and it will supply you a profusion of flowers. As its blooms fade, remove its spikes to maintain a tidy appearance. Since it’s short-lived, allow a few flowers to self-sow the area to prolong its stay.

Gardens staff experts will be on hand to answer your questions about how to care for your new plants. Food and beverage concessions will also be available.

Admission to the sale is free, although regular admission prices will apply if you plan to visit the Springs Preserve’s museums and galleries. Visit www.springspreserve.org for more information.

Linn Mills’ garden column appears on Sundays. You can reached him at liinmillslv@gmail.com or
call him at 702-526-1495.

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