‘Tis the Season–for Plant Sales
April showers bring May plant sales! We gardeners are itching to plant annuals and to add new and wonderful perennials to our gardens. And don’t the garden centers know it–and the garden clubs and anyone else who wants to sell plants! (I used to be part of that action myself, back when I would sell my extra vegetable seedlings at my friend Donna’s annual driveway plant sale.)
2017 PLANT SALES: Mark Your Calendars!
Here is my rundown of plant sales for local gardeners. These are presented in chronological order, and I’ve put asterisks by my favorites. Click on the links for details such as times and locations.
May 5-7, 2017 – Friday to Sunday
May 6, 2017 – Saturday
*Downers Grove Organic Gardeners Plant Sale – This is the ONLY organic plant sale in our area! You could find some organic vegetables at various nurseries and stores now, but you will not find the variety and excellent quality that you’ll get here. They also sell native perennials. It is sponsored by one of my favorite garden clubs, the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners. See this sale flyer for details.
May 11-13, Thursday- Saturday
LTHS Horticulture Club Plant Sale – The plants at this sale were grown by Lockport Township High School students. I like to check it out because they usually have some interesting selections beyond the normal stuff.
Lombard Lilac Sale – Lilac fans, this sale is especially for you! (SPECIAL UPDATE–added 5/3/17)
May 12-13, Friday-Saturday
*DuPage County Native Plant Sale – You will have to go and see what is available at this sale because it’s too late to preorder anything. Don’t worry, though–there will be plenty there. Whether you go to this sale or another native plant sale, I recommend that you still peruse the sale catalog to plan ahead and think about what you’d like to buy. For more information about these plants, look them up on Possibility Place’s website (they’re the ones providing the plants for all the local native sales) and on Illinois Wildflowers. It’s too bad that we’ve already missed the native landscaping classes that preceded this sale. I’ve been to a couple of their classes before, as well as the plant sale, and they were excellent.
May 13 – Saturday
Ace Hardware – (UPDATE: I have corrected the date and time for this one. -5/5/17) If you’re up early and your local Ace is like mine, you should get there before it opens at 7:00 A.M. This yearly sale is good if you’re interested in hanging baskets (always good for Mother’s Day) and cheap flats of annuals. It’s not a good sale if you want an interesting variety of annuals. These are just basic bedding plants. Make sure you follow their rules, too. To get the best price on the flats, they need to be all the same type of plant but not the same color. Watch your cart and DO NOT “shop” from other people’s carts! Last year someone took a basket from my cart after its contents had been tallied and while I’d gone inside to pay for it. There were no other baskets like it left (it had Martha Washington geraniums in it), of course, so the only thing Ace could do was refund my money. Fortunately before that happened, I spotted my basket on the culprit’s cart, which was being guarded by someone else. When the woman who had mistaken my cart for a sales rack returned to her cart, we got the mix up straightened out.
*Lake Katherine Native Plant Sale – Another nearby native plant sale! I’ve listed the three that are closest to me. If you would like to find others, see *Possibility Place’s list of events. Like I said above, they’re the ones providing the plants for all the native plant sales around us. They specialize in growing native plants, all from seeds collected locally.
Naperville Community Gardeners Club Sale – I have never been to this sale, but the pictures and descriptions look promising.
May 20 – Saturday
*Gardener’s Flea Market – I love this sale! They have plants and much more! I have bought many cool things here over the years. This is held at the Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center, next to Bird Haven Greenhouse in Pilcher Park.
Fox Valley Gardeners’ Sale. I have not been to this sale, but Aurora might be closer to some of you. It might be similar to the Gardener’s Flea Market in Joliet.
Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale – Yes, ANOTHER native plant sale! This one is for the Will County Forest Preserve District, and it has extra features like rain barrel pick up and an opportunity to tour the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Traveling Science Center. There is even a pre-sale event on May 19 (my birthday!), for those who would like to enjoy music and a reception as well as an earlier chance to pick out plants.
May 21 – Sunday
Southtown Dahlia Club Sale – This is where to go if you want to buy dahlias and talk to experts about growing them. My own experiences with growing dahlias have involved more failures than successes I’m afraid. That’s a good reason for this to be the year I finally go even though it’s hard for me to get out on a Sunday afternoon.
More Plants on Sale
Besides all these annual sales, there are many, many, many, many, many plants being sold at stores and nurseries all around us. I’ll put in a little plug here for my two favorites.
(1) Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouse in Grant Park, IL, is where you’ll find by far the most amazing selection of plants–and all at great prices, too. The catch is that it is quite a hike for us. This nursery is HUGE–I have never seen anything like it! Before you go, you should peruse their online plant lists and guides carefully and make a list of what you want. (Print their coupons, too, if you like.). They even have an aisle of native plants! When you walk in, you should pick up a plant location guide. Use that and the map on your cart to fine where the plants you want are located.
(2) When I don’t want to go that far but want plants not found in other stores (lemon-rose scented geraniums, for instance), I go to Ted’s Greenhouse in Tinley Park. If you shop at Ted’s between May 15 and June 15, please download this flyer and show it when you check out. Then you’ll be helping my garden club as well as your garden!
More Gardening Adventures
It’s about time to start planning ahead for this year’s garden walks. For those and other gardening events all around the Chicago area, check out Chicagoland Gardening’s Calendar of Events. Call me if you want a friend to come along!