Spring Plant Sale: Something Old, Something New!

By Amy Howansky

We are excit­ed to add new fea­tures to the Arboretum’s long-estab­lished and peren­ni­al­ly pop­u­lar Spring Plant Sale.

This May, vis­it the Bulb Bar.” Grab a bag­gie and select your choice of bulbs, corms, or tubers. Mix and match options to cre­ate a small dis­play near your front door or choose sev­er­al bulbs of the same type to begin a col­lec­tion that can be expand­ed by vis­it­ing the Bulb Bar again at the Fall Sale.

Col­lect­ing spec­i­mens of a sin­gle type can be a fun way to choose plants for the land­scape. To cre­ate a lilac dis­play like the one at Lan­dis Arbore­tum, select from our new Love­ly Lilacs” cat­e­go­ry, which show­cas­es plants of dif­fer­ent heights and col­ors. We will offer two or three dif­fer­ent species or cul­ti­vars each spring so that you can install a pre­ferred spec­i­men or, over time, amass an impres­sive collection.

Because of our con­nec­tions with spe­cial­ty grow­ers and nurs­eries, we will offer lim­it­ed num­bers of Rare and Unusu­al Spec­i­men” plants. Try out a dwarf ever­green or an inter­est­ing shrub with var­ie­gat­ed leaves. We hope to expand this cat­e­go­ry at future sales, and we wel­come requests.

Many home­own­ers have lim­it­ed space for plants. It can be daunt­ing to decide which plants will fit under a bay win­dow or squeeze next to a side­walk. Make the deci­sion eas­i­er by inspect­ing our new col­lec­tion of Small Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces.”

Weigela florida
Weigela flori­da

Weigela flori­da is a much-loved flow­er­ing shrub, but many cul­ti­vars are too tall or sprawl­ing for restrict­ed spaces. The cul­ti­var My Mon­et’ remains about 12” tall and 18” wide, a per­fect choice for edg­ing a side­walk. It flow­ers pink in May/​June, like oth­er cul­ti­vars of the species, but the real attrac­tion is that each leaf dis­plays blotch­es of pink, white, and green from the new growth in spring, through the sum­mer, and into the autumn. It prefers full sun, and some­times attracts hummingbirds.

Since many of our mem­bers have asked for help in select­ing plants to attract pol­li­na­tors and birds, we are adding a Pol­li­na­tor Plant” cat­e­go­ry, which will fea­ture two or three spe­cial plants that pro­vide nec­tar, pollen, seeds, or nest-build­ing materials:

Veron­i­cas­trum vir­ginicum
Veron­i­cas­trum virginicum

Veron­i­cas­trum vir­ginicum Fas­ci­na­tion’ (Culver’s root) flow­ers in July/​August with soft pink can­de­labras on red-tinged foliage, which cre­ates an over­all plant size of 3’ – 4’ tall by 2’ – 3’ wide. It tol­er­ates zones 38 in full sun to light shade. Though it can take sev­er­al years to estab­lish, it will pro­vide nec­tar or pollen for bees, wasps, flies, but­ter­flies and oth­er ben­e­fi­cial insects.

Bap­tisia aus­tralis
Bap­tisia australis 

Bap­tisia aus­tralis (false indi­go) forms a round mound of foliage with tall spikes of showy flow­ers above. Hardy in zones 4a – 9b, it tol­er­ates full sun to part shade, but some cul­ti­vars per­form bet­ter with more sun. After flow­er­ing, the spikes trans­form into inter­est­ing seed pods. Bap­tisia is deer-resis­tant, but attrac­tive to pol­li­na­tors when flow­er­ing at the end of spring into the ear­ly sum­mer. Gar­den­ers report that long-tongue bees, short-tongue bees, but­ter­flies, and hum­ming­birds will vis­it the flow­ers, but in my expe­ri­ence it is usu­al­ly the long-tongue bum­ble­bees that monop­o­lize the plant and pro­vide long hours of view­ing enter­tain­ment. We will fea­ture the Bap­tisia cul­ti­var Amer­i­can Goldfinch,’ which sports yel­low flower spikes on a 3’ – 4’ tall shrub that can spread 4’ – 6’. Also, look for Pink Lemon­ade,’ with stalks of yel­low flower buds that change to pink and then laven­der, cre­at­ing stun­ning, mul­ti-col­ored spikes on a plant that grows 4’ tall by 4’ wide.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be lim­it­ed sup­plies of these fea­tured plants, so your best bet at get­ting one is to come to the Mem­bers Only Pick of the Pots Sale (POPS) on Fri­day, May 17, 4:30 to 6:30 PM . Get first crack at plants, enjoy com­pli­men­ta­ry hors d’oeuvres, and receive the mem­bers’ 10% dis­count on your plant pur­chas­es. Not a mem­ber? Don’t wor­ry — you can join at the gate!

We have always had experts at the sales to help with plant selec­tion, but now we are adding Tiny Talks,” which are free info-ses­sions about a sin­gle plant or top­ic. Mod­eled after Tail­gate Talks” used in the land­scap­ing indus­try, these infor­mal mini-class­es are five to ten min­utes long, and may include a brief slideshow or a short walk in the peren­ni­al gar­den. Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Fred Breglia will share plant instal­la­tion tech­niques, and hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist Amy Howan­sky will give specifics about fea­tured plants.

If you have an inter­est in herbs, join Gert Cole­man in the Library on Sat­ur­day, May 18th at 10:30 AM. In this hands-on pro­gram, learn what herbs go with what foods and how to use herbs and spices to enhance your health. Mem­bers: $10/​person; non-mem­bers: $20/​person.


Spring 2019

Volume 37 , Number 1

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Aug 06, 2022

Landis Forest 5K - August 6, 2022

A record turnout! Click here to view all the great photos from this event, and... read more

Jun 10, 2022 | Anne Donnelly

Don't Overlook Your Reciprocal Admissions Privilege

A sometimes overlooked benefit of your Landis Arboretum membership is the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal... read more

May 29, 2022

Scenes From the Spring Plant Sale

Thanks to our many wonderful volunteers, plant consignors, vendors, and customers, the Landis Signature Spring... read more

May 28, 2022 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Q&A, Part III

In this last Q&A session, I am focusing on leaf color change during the... read more

May 28, 2022 | Erin McKenna Breglia, Landis Gardener

From the Garden: Milkweeds for Monarchs!

Many people enjoy seeing butterflies in our Landis gardens. especially the monarch butterfly, Danaus... read more

May 28, 2022 | Anita Sanchez

Life and Death on the Lawn

It’s a beautiful summer day. You’ve finished your stack of books from the Landis... read more

News Archive