When I have a driving trip ahead of me, I’m usually in a hurry. My plan is to leave early, stop as little as possible, and get the trip behind me. There’s only one exception. If I’m going to Virginia and have the flexibility to add an hour to my trip, I detour from my usual route north on I-85, swing through Raleigh, and then continue east to take I-95 to my destination.
Why? Because the best Farmers Market on the Eastern Seaboard is in Raleigh at 1201 Agriculture Street, and one of my favorite plant vendors, Urban Oasis, always makes me glad I went out of my way.
In addition to the volume buyer’s areas, the market offers more than 15,000 square feet of enclosed shops (wine, cheese, soap, etc.), 2 acres of market imports (trellises, fountains, etc.), three restaurants, and, most importantly, more than 30,000 square feet of open sheds for produce and plants.
Last Friday, I was barely able to squeeze in a visit, so I made a beeline to the plant shed. It took just a few minutes to locate Urban Oasis and proprietor Bill DeMent, who makes the search easy by hanging a stuffed parrot above his booth.
Shopping with Bill is quick and fun, especially for me, as I only take a glance at the sun-loving plants before scouring the shade area for anything I don’t already have. Here’s my latest haul…
Front row (L to R): Seemannia x hybrida (Hardy Gloxinia), Ledebouria copperi (Jessop), Asarum ‘Ling Ling’
Middle row (L to R): Speirantha convallarioides (evergreen Lily of the Valley), Ardisia ‘Hakaukan’ (Marlberry), Disporopsis jinfushaneasis (dwarf evergreen Solomon’s Seal)
Back row (L to R): Lepisorus bicolor (Ribbon Fern), Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort), and Disporum cantoniese (Fariy Bells)
The plants are always high quailty and the price is good too. Only $88 for this collection!