TUPELO • Last year, the Lee County Master Gardeners had to cancel their annual plant sale because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This spring, they'll more than make up for it.

"I have no idea how many plants we'll have for sale," said Donna Tucker, chairman of the sale. "There are thousands. We've got plenty for everyone."

The event will be Saturday, April 17, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Mississippi State University/Lee County Extension office at 5338 Cliff Gookin Blvd. in Tupelo. The after-sale is April 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

"We’re so excited to be able to hold a plant sale this year," said Susan McGukin, program associate for volunteer management at Lee County Extension. "MSU has more stringent guidelines than the state of Mississippi, so please wear a mask and practice social distancing."

Tucker, who has been a Master Gardener for 26 years, said plants will be more spread out than in years past, and some will be on flatbed trailers.

"We're going to limit the number of people who can come through the gates at one time," she said. "We'll have a limited number of wagons for customers to use, and we'll have people available to help deliver plants to cars."

Some of the annuals that will be available include coleus, impatiens, daturas, petunias, calibrachoas (million bells) and succulents.

Perennials include hostas, gaillardia (blanket flowers), phlox, mallow, yarrow, lavender and succulents.

"We'll have some shrubs and trees, like mophead and oakleaf hydrangeas, spireas and curly willows," Tucker said. "We've got strawberry plants and a few roses, and some hybrid daylilies and irises."

Herbs include lemon balm, lemon thyme, peppermint, catnip, oregano and cilantro.

"Our vines didn't do well this year," Tucker said. "We'll have a couple of cardinal vines, morning glories and malabar spinach. Our seeds just didn't do well."

Fairy gardens, Papercrete planters, mixed pots and hanging baskets will also be available for purchase.

One new area this year is called Gardens with Wings.

"This will be all types of plants for butterflies, both host plants and nectar plants," Tucker said. "These plants will come with pictures and information so anyone can plant a garden to attract butterflies."

Most available plants will range from $2 to $10 in price, with some being a bit more. Only checks and cash will be accepted.

This year's sale will feature two raffle items: a three-pot fairy village and a miniature farm garden. Tickets for the raffle are $2 each or three for $5. The winners' names will be drawn Tuesday afternoon at the after-sale.

"Last year, when we couldn't have the sale, we carried some plants to nonprofits, and a lot of plants we wintered over for this sale," Tucker said. "Some Master Gardeners took plants home to care for them and then brought them back. So we've got plenty. We'll have this sale rain or shine."

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