The plant-buying frenzy is about to begin, and there’s no better place for one-of-a-kind plants and great gardening advice than a public garden’s plant sale. Besides, the sales generate significant income for botanic gardens, arboreta and plant societies. At Ohio State University’s Chadwick Arboretum, for instance, a three-day event staffed by 180 volunteers pulls in more than $40,000.
Like Chadwick’s sale, many sales also feature auctions, pre-sale party nights, workshops and book signings. To get first dibs on plants, check out the pre-sale events typically offered to members. No doubt, the membership privilege is well worth the $25-$50 annual dues.
Also, come with questions. Many of the volunteers have first-hand experience growing the plants for sale. So, don’t be afraid to ask for their favorite tomato plant, native shade tree or miniature varieties. The only danger is you may end up with a trunk full of wonderful plants.
- Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Sale, Illinois (April 27-29)
- Native Illinois Plant Sale (April 28)
- Adena Mansion’s Heirloom Plant Sale, Ohio (May 5-20)
- Kingwood Center Spring Flower Festival and Plant Sale, Ohio (May 5)
- Secrest Arboretum Plant Discovery Day and Sale, Ohio (May 5)
- Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association’s Annual Plant Sale (May 5-6)
- Chadwick Arboretum Plant Sale, Auction and Gardening Fair, Ohio (May 10-12)
- Olbrich Botanical Gardens Plant Sale with the Pros, Wisconsin (May 11-12)
- Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society Annual Native Plant Sale and Auction (May 12)
- Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Plant Sale (May 12)
- Missouri Botanical Gardens Spring Wildflower Sale (May 12)
- Dawes Arboretum Plant Sale and Garden Fair, Ohio (May 18-19)
- Holden Arboretum Plant Sale, Ohio (May 18-20)
- Bernheim Arboretum Bloomfest Plant Sale, Kentucky (May 19)
- Chicago Botanical Garden Bloomin Festival Plant Sale (May 17-20)
- Wisconsin Herb Society’s Herb Faire (May 26)