Plant Sale madness kicks off this week with the Hosta Garden Companions fabulous Hosta sale at Tom and May Riddle's garden at 1809 Waunona Way, Madison. This event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, beginning this Friday and running each weekend through May. I bought four Hostas from them last year at reasonable prices, but what was really great was being able to see each Hosta in a bed at its mature size and shape in a home garden setting.
Then comes the West Side Garden Club's Sale. This group has been beautifying our community for 90 years as well as contributing to numerous civic projects, outreach programs, and scholarships (as do many of our local garden groups) via the proceeds of their annual plant sales. The gorgeous Japanese primrose (below) is one of many plant purchases I've made over the years at the West Side Garden Club's annual sale. It was grown in a member's garden as is the case with many of the items sold at local plant sales. As a result, this primrose has bloomed and increased for me to the point that soon I will be able to offer seedlings back to the sale! West Side Garden Club Sale: Friday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3918 Nakoma Rd. just west of Thoreau School and opposite Seminole Hwy.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens Plant Sale with the Pros is on Friday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Note the name of this sale: it is staffed with pros so no question will go unanswered. I could go on and on about this sale because it is always superb. Check out the link because they offer so many extras at this annual event in addition to wonderful plants. We've bought many of our best trees and shrubs at Olbrich over the years. I often donate garden books to the sale and usually take home a couple as well. Not to be missed.
UW-Madison Arboretum Native Plant Sale is on Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the tent next to the Visitor Center. This is the premier event for native plant folks whether you have a woodland or prairie.
The Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society is holding their annual sale on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to noon. at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Road, just past the stoplight on Hwy. M. The sale is held rain or shine and this is a covered localion so you don't have to worry about weather. Just before this sale last spring, I toured a WHPS member's garden where I saw more wonderful primroses (above). And then, there they were at the sale where I was able to buy some in each color pictured. I've also bought a number of Korean maples (below) at this sale. Again, these are plants grown in local gardens so you know they should also grow for you. Though this sale is held later than many, there's always something unusual and unexpected at this event so don't miss it.
Full disclosure: I am a member of WHPS and on their board. I am also a member of Olbrich and the UW-Arboretum, as well as being friends with many gardeners associated with these and other garden groups. But in no instance am I receiving any remuneration, financial or otherwise, for my comments and support of these groups posted on this blog.
Click the links for details of each sale. You can also find a long list of other local plant sales in the on-line version of the WHPS April 2012 newsletter, beginning on Page 3. Most of these are open to the public but check the details to be sure that is the case, as some are member-only events. Most sales are also held rain or shine so come prepared for the weather.