From the Garden: Landis Plant Sale Welcomes Novice Gardeners

By Erin Breglia

There are always new faces and new gardeners at Landis Arboretum’s annual Spring Plant Sale. If you have just recently discovered the Arboretum, this family friendly event is a must! The sale opens Friday evening, May 15, with a special members-only preview event known as Pick of the Pots. An open-to-all sale held Saturday and Sunday includes tours, tree planting demonstrations, and much, much more. While landscaping and gardening may be intimidating to the beginner, several experienced gardeners are available to give advice on plants and their care.

Trees and shrubs. Basic advice for beginning landscapers: think long-term. Consider how the tree will appear in ten or more years. A dwarf hybrid ornamental crabapple tree at the sale will be roughly 5 feet tall and in ten years may only reach a height of 7 feet. On the other hand, an edible apple tree may be 5 feet tall when purchased, yet later might reach 15 and eventually 25 feet. Shrubs often found at the sale include rhododendron, azalea, lilac, juniper, and rose. Trees include edible and ornamental fruit varieties, dogwood, pine, maple, willow, and the latest show-stopping ornamental conifers.

Perennials. Perennial flowers and plants reappear every year and are often less work and self-sufficient once established. We can help you choose plants that meet the sun and height requirements for your site. Many varieties suitable for the beginner will be available, including daylily, peony, clematis, hosta, anemone, echinacea, and phlox.

Native plants. Natives are trending right now as they multiply easily, require less maintenance, and grow best in full or partial shade. They can be a great choice for the “lazy gardener” who enjoys the birds, butterflies, and other wildlife these plants attract. Natives generally found at our sale include columbine, turtlehead, allium, monarda, and helenium – as well as some trees and shrubs.

Vegetables and herbs. A staple for most home gardens, herbs and vegetables are always popular. You will be able to find both heirloom and hybrid varieties of tomato, as well as many other organically sprouted vegetables. Last year our seedlings ranged from kohlrabi to broccoli starts, and Swiss chard to cabbage. The main things these plants will need during the season are a complete (preferably organic) fertilizer, water, and sun. If space is limited, several vegetables and all of the herbs can be containerized, but keep them adequately watered, as they tend to dry out quicker than expected when planted in pots. The culinary herbs will include basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, chive, and lemon balm.

We welcome new volunteers! This one-of-a-kind fundraiser has taken place since the 1950’s and brings out a greater number of volunteers than any other Landis event. Come and join us! During the week preceding the sale, volunteers set up the sale yard and book sale area, handle plant deliveries, label and price plants, and keep plants watered. Volunteers are needed for these and other duties are needed during the preparation week and the sale week as well. Lunch is provided to volunteers from Thursday to Sunday.

This year’s Spring Plant, Book and Bake Sale is scheduled for May 16th and 17th from 10AM - 4PM. The “Pick of the Pots” members-only preview party is Friday May 15th from 5PM – 8PM. For more information, especially if you are interested in helping with the event, please call the Arboretum Office at (518) 875-6935 or email

Spring 2015

Volume 33 , Number 2

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