Blog:Plant sales at your local botanic garden or arboretum
If you've been looking for some very unusual or cool plants, you should be looking out for spring plant sales at your local arboretums and botanic gardens. Trips to the botanic gardens are great for finding new and interesting plants that grow in your area, but unfortunately you can't often find those plants for sale very easily. These spring sales are often a great place to check for them. In Southern California we have many of these sales, from Santa Barbara to San Diego. I was able to make it to a few of the sales, fortunately, and got some great plants, including White Sapote, Passionfruit, Cardamon, Gold Finger Banana, and some others, including a mini succulent garden. Here is a breakdown of the sales I went to. The Huntington Gardens sale was the earliest, and in terms of size and selection may have been the smallest. Prices were also on the higher end. CSF Arboretum first had their 50% off sale at the potting shed, which was a great deal on their usual selection of plants, and later had the huge Green Scene plant event, which thousands of people swarmed for good reason. The variety of plants by dozens of exhibitors was very impressive, and some great bargains were to be found. Descanso Gardens had a very solid sale in terms of selection and prices. UC Riverside impressed me with the scale of their sale, and the organization. They had over 10,000 plants (not varieties) for sale, and each variety had an excellent photo and text explanation of the plant in front to inform viewers of what they're looking at. I wish all the sales had these for every plant, and that all the botanic gardens had these throughout their gardens, actually! All of the sales had gardening experts and volunteers on hand to answer gardening questions, and questions about the plants.
There aren't too many spring sales left in Southern California, but I suspect there are plenty more in colder winter climes, and then later many of the gardens will hold fall plant sales. Even if you don't want to buy anything, they're fun events to visit and learn about new plants.
--Raffi 14:41, 20 April 2009 (UTC)