April 23, 2013

Upcoming Rare Plant Sales

If you live in New England or New York, these four plant sales offer plants found no-where else! Plan to visit a few
over these next four weekends.

By this point, your local nurseries and garden centers are stocked to the brim with their first shipment from branded and wholesale growers. It's also a time of year when garden centers push for big sales knowing that Mother's Day often drives as many sales as any other Holiday. As you become more of an informed gardener, you will learn that what looks pretty in-market, often won't do well once planted into the garden. So pass on the greenhouse forced Gerbera, Martha Washington Geraniums, blue florist Hydrangeas in foil, and azaleas, and consider buying something more interesting.

Corydalis solida can often be found in pots at some spring plant sales. Since the bulbs go dormant by June, these
gems rarely show up in nurseries.

My best advice for you? Consider some of these upcoming plant sales held by plant societies and botanic gardens - for these often offer items rarely found at the commercial garden centers - over the next three weekends there are at least four must-visit sales here in the north east. Make plans to visit early, as these plant sales have loyal patrons who will arrive early, and bring lots of cash, for you never know what you are going to find. Many offer hard-to-find plants, or those plants not offered anywhere else. Most invite small, micro nurseries who will bring things that are in such short supply, that they never make it into the catalog.

Some of my best spring flowers have come from plant society plant sales.

Saturday, April 27 

The 7th Annual North American Rock Garden Society Plant Sale at Stonecrop Gardens  the following nurseries and vendors will participate in the sale: 

- Wrightman Alpines, Ontario - Grower and supplier of choice alpine plants and rock garden plants.
- Evermay Nursery, Bangor, ME - Specializing in alpine plants and Primula species.
- Garden Vision Epimediums, Templeton, MA - Grower and supplier of Epimediums and other choice shade perennials.
- Debra Pope, Auburn, MA - Creates unique, custom hypertufa troughs.
- Don Dembowski, Pelham, NY - Spring Ephemerals and Woodland Wildflowers.
- Bill Perron, Cortlandt Manor, NY - Offers a variety of Cyclamen species, Arisaema, and Hellebores. 

Fee: $5/Free to members
garden@stonecrop.org | 845.265.2000 


Sunday, April 28

The Manhattan Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society annual plant sale

"Sassy Succulents for Sunny Sites, and other uncommon plants for city folk"
El Sol Brillante community garden, NYC
10 AM until 1:00 PM

This is plant sale is my # 1 choice for interesting plants, and it is one not to miss, since these gardeners are both serious and friendly, and they curate an amazing collection of plants. After all, these are people who garden high on the balcony's and penthouses of America's greatest city and they really know their plants, as each one must be important (Be sure to tell them that I sent you!). They will be offering plants grown by their knowledgeable growers and many from selected premium nurseries in the New York area. 

El Sol Brillante community garden
522-528 East 12th Street
(between Avenues A and B)
Subway - L Train to 1st Avenue and 14th Street


Brooklyn Botanic Garden Plant Sale

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Plant Sale, May 1 and 2 - there will be a members-only preview sale on April 30; for more information, check out  bbg.org


Saturday and Sunday May 4th and 5th
The American Primrose Society National Show

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA

Two days of amazing primroses, and plant sales. See those rare auricula primroses, and hundreds of other types including companion plants. Also, it's a beautiful time to visit Tower Hill! Look for me, and I am one of planners for this show, and Joe and I will be running around like crazy!

So if you've been curious about stocking that hypertufa trough with rare, high-elevation alpines like saxifraga or if you've been wanting to start a collection of unusual hard-to-find epimediums grown from seed collected in China by Darrell Probst, or if you want to plant you very own primrose path, any of these three plant sales come highly recommended by me - but get there early!


  1. Wonderful pics! So glad that spring is here finally...

  2. Thanks for this list! I've been looking for something uncommon for my garden this season.

    I've added this page to my StumbleUpon. :)

  3. Great list!

    I've added this page to my StumbleUpon. :)


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