Annual Giant Plant Sale is a Plant Lovers Party! June 18-20, 2015

By Elizabeth Vance

McCorkle Nurseries, just 20 minutes outside of Augusta, is a fabulous nursery located in Dearing, GA. One of the things that makes this wholesale nursery so special is its twice a year Giant Plant Sales that are open to the public.
McCorkle Nurseries opened in 1942 as a family-owned business. Still family-owned, it produces millions of plants each year. It has developed many ornamentals including the much sought after, Lady in Red hydrangea. The sale site is packed with hard-to-find plants and thousands of staples such as trees, shrubs, junipers, camellias, roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies, hydrangeas, hostas and more, and more, AND MORE! The sale is held in an open field and you can sometimes tell who has been there the longest by their sunburn. Folks often come back each day to see what new items have been brought out. In addition to providing fabulous plants at great prices, the sale is like a big party for plant geeks. It’s a wonderful blend of all types of folks who like to play in the dirt!
McCorkle will have another Giant Plant Sale in the fall, so watch for the announcement.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned from my own experience at the Giant Plant Sale.

1. Make a list.
You must take a list with you, otherwise it’s like going to the grocery store hungry. Look at your yard. What do you really need? Take the Southern Living Garden Book with you–and pick up a Field Guide at the registration tent as soon as you get there! This bit of pre-sale research will save you from buying shade loving plants when you don’t even have shade!
. Take a cart.
Dig up the Rusty Red Rider or take the bright yellow utility cart–you’re gonna need it. Shoot, if you have access to a truck and/or a trailer, take those too!
3. Cash, Check or Charge?
McCorkle’s has a line for each, but be prepared. Better yet, just take a wad of cash. Once you’ve spent it, it’s over.

4. Take a hat and yard shoes.
UGH. With all the rain or summer thunderstorms we get here, you’d do good wearing a pair of old farm boots. Your shoes will get dirty. A hat and sunscreen are good ideas too!

5. Be prepared after you get your purchases home.
You will need to baby your plants through the summer whether you plant them or not. Our summers are hot and dry and you’ll have to tend those plants one way or another.
The Giant Plant Sale is held in an open field at 5936 Mattie Harrison Rd Dearing, GA 30808 (It’s about 20 minutes west of Augusta; and two hours east of Atlanta.)
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