March Mart 2013 is blooming at Mercer Arboretum
- Written by By Trilla Cook
Mercer Arboretum & Botanical Gardens presents the annual March Mart Plant Sale event, which culminates a year-long regimen of research, propagation, care and nurturing plants and seedlings by The Mercer Society and volunteers. March Mart is one of the largest fund-raising plant sales in the Texas Gulf Coast area, with more than 6,000 in attendance each year. The fundraiser benefits the gardens and programs at Mercer, and helps make it one of the best destinations for gardeners, nature lovers, families and birders. “Mercer’s March Mart plant sale is a landmark event in every Gulf Coast gardener’s calendar, offering tremendous variety that is supported by a corps of experts who give advice on choosing the right plant for any situation,” said Mercer’s director, Darrin Duling. “Shoppers will find old heirloom favorites alongside new rarities introduced into this area for the first time, all set within the backdrop of our 50-acre botanic garden. Every March Mart is completely different, with an ever-changing plant inventory and new developments in the garden. We invite everyone to come out and discover what we are up to.” According to volunteer organizer Suzzanne Chapman, finalizing the plans for March Mart is well under way. “Plants are growing and deliveries will arrive up to the week of the sale,” Chapman said. “The March Mart sale area within the main garden will undergo a few location changes to better accommodate plant committees with featured plants and for visitors to shop.” March Mart, which started in 1974 as a fundraiser for the then one-year-old arboretum, offers approximately 1,200 species of plants including annuals and perennials, ferns, fruit trees, gingers, herbs, natives, roses, shade plants, trees and shrubs, succulents, tropicals, vegetables and vines. Vendors with bamboo, camellias, carnivorous plants and orchids will also be on site. The dates are Friday, March 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of The Mercer Society (TMS) can shop early at a March Mart “Members Only” sale Thursday, March 21. VIP members can shop from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and TMS members can shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lynn Herbert will hold a book signing for her book, “A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast,” at March Mart on Thursday, March 21 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and Friday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Herbert authored this revision of the well-loved River Oaks Garden Club book, which was originally published in 1929. March Mart is sponsored by TMS, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, with more than 150 volunteers. With leadership from Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 Parks facility located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble. For more information, contact Mercer at 281-443-8731 or online at hcp4.net/mercer/marchmart. Photos: 1) Volunteers Anne Strommer and Chris Harrison at The Mercer Society booth 2) Specimen of Cat Whiskers, which will bloom all summer in part shade with delicate tubular flowers and long stamens resembling whiskers, at Mercer March Mart.