While autumn is a fantastic time of the year to get hardy plants in the ground and growing, it's can be quiet at plants nurseries. People are most motivated to garden in the frenzy of spring and, well, kind of forget about the garden in fall. Naturally, plant nurseries want to sell off their plants in fall so they don't have to take care of the potted plants all winter. Luckily for savvy, late-season shoppers, plants go on sale - usually some time in October. As it happens, fall - just after the first few rains of the season - is also a great time to plant, when the soil is warm and not too wet to dig, and the autumn and winter rains can alleviate the burden of watering young plants.

Should you need any further convincing, here's one of the best reasons around for shop for plants now:

WHAT: Xera Plants' Fall Fundraiser & Open House

WHEN: Thurs, Fri & Sat Sept 27, 28 & 29, 2012 from 10 am to 5 pm each day

WHERE: Xera Plants, 11220 SW Tonquin Rd., Sherwood OR 97140

It's a slow time of the year, and Xera Plants is brimming with fantastic perennials, shrubs, vines and trees that are ready to plant right now. Xera Plants is a wholesale operation and normally only sells to retail plant nurseries but starting this Thursday, retail shoppers can wander through the grower's hoophouses and select plants that are well adapted to our local climate. Owners/plant experts Paul Bonine and Greg Shepherd will be on hand to answer questions about their sustainably-grown, drought-tolerant and fantastically interesting plants. They're pulling out all the stops, with a festive shopping atmosphere and lots of opportunities to learn about plants and schmooze. Prices are 10% above wholesale - wow!

Bring cash or checks (no credit or debit cards).

Directions:
From Portland: I-5 south to exit #286 (Elligson/Boone's Ferry); turn right off the freeway. Go to the second stoplight, turn left on Day St. At the end of Day St. turn right on Graham's Ferry Road. Follow 1/2 mile, then turn left on Tonquin Rd. Continue 1/4 mile until you descend a small hill....turn left just before the railroad tracks, and continue up the driveway. There's no sign on Tonquin but you'll see the greenhouses on the left (sudden left turn).

From I-5 south: Take exit #286, turn left off the freeway, and follow the above directions