So many plant sales, so little time
September 18, 2013
Ah, fall is almost upon us. Time to don light jackets and indulge in pumpkin-flavored goodies. Perhaps apple cider or an Oktoberfest beverage is calling your name. It won't be long before kids are deciding on Halloween costumes.
But wait! There's something missing from this fall festival of fun. Fall is for Planting. Yes, when you think of plaid, the return of football and changing leaves, think of your yard as well. And I don't just mean that container of mums on the front porch. Fall is the best time to plant more plants, especially shrubs and trees. The soil is still warm and roots can establish themselves before summer heat comes back. To get you started, I've gathered a list of fall plant sales around the Chesapeake Bay region. Remember: More Plants. Less Runoff. Healthier Bay.
And don't forget to visit local garden centers. They'll be open through October.
Northern Virginia & Maryland
Arlington's Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, will sell a selection of plants and shrubs. Sale is cash only.
Sept. 22 and 28, Oct. 5 and 20
Herring Run Nursery at 6131 Hillen Road, Baltimore, is open for retail sales 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The nursery offers hundreds of species of native trees, shrubs and perennials.
The ParkFairfax Native Plant Sale is scheduled 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at 3601 Valley Drive, Alexandria. The sale is open to the public, and admission is free.
Historic London Town and Gardens, a 23-acre park in Edgewater, Md., hosts its annual fall plant sale 10 a.m. until noon (members-only preview sale is 8 until 10 a.m.). Stay for a tour of the new trail system.
More than 25 plant and craft vendors will be at the fall plant sale, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.
Bring the whole family to Arborfest, 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., at Blandy Experimental Farm and State Arboretum of Virginia in bucolic Boyce. $10 per car. Shop plants propagated or divided from the grounds. Scarecrow-making and hayrides are on tap. Need I say more?
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico County hosts its annual fall plant sale. A wide selection of plants will be available from numerous small and local vendors. Admission to the sale is free.
Select native perennials, shrubs and trees will be 50 percent off at The Nursery at Garden Gate's open house, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The nursery is at 15101 Quaker Church Road, Montpelier.
Sept. 20-21, 28-29
The Virginia Living Museum, 542 Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, hosts its fall native-plant sale. Knowledgeable horticulture staff will be there to assist you. Admission to the sale is free.
The Williamsburg Botanical Garden, located in Freedom Park, 5537 Centerville Road, Williamsburg, will offer fall perennials, butterfly-friendly plants and art for sale.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Please add events I left off in the comments section below. Happy fall planting!
Julie Buchanan is a public relations specialist for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and manager of the Plant More Plants social sites. She lives in Richmond.
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