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Denver Botanic Gardens' spring plant sale on National Public Gardens Day

Denver Botanic Gardens' spring Plant Sale coincides with National Public Gardens Day May 9.
Denver Botanic Gardens' spring Plant Sale coincides with National Public Gardens Day May 9.
Photo by Clemens Bilan

Denver Botanic Gardens’ largest annual spring Plant Sale coincides with National Public Gardens Day this May. Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual Spring Plant Sale is free and open to the public on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10, 2014, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Some of the plants are grown at Denver Botanic Gardens, and one of the best perks of the sale is getting one-on-one tips and information from the horticulture staff,” said Erin Bird, a spokesperson for Denver Botanic Gardens. “All sales support the Gardens.”

If you want first dibs on plants, attend the Spring Plant Sale Preview Party Thursday, May 8, 4 - 8 p.m. Party attendees can enjoy more leisurely shopping, as well as complimentary appetizers, wine and beer. Tickets cost $45 on the Gardens’ website. Be warned: The event sells out in advance, and the Gardens will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, to prepare for the party and the sale.

National Public Gardens Day, on Friday May 9 this year, promotes awareness of the important role American public gardens play, as well as educating Americans about environmental stewardship.
An annual rite of spring, the Denver Botanic Gardens Plan Sale started about 50 years ago, and continued to grow — not unlike the plants purveyed at this horticultural extravaganza. For the weekend, Denver Botanic Gardens blossoms into a plant bazaar with the most interesting specimens.
Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens, Panayoti Kelaidis has seen more than three decades of Plant Sales. He emphasized the wide range of plants available.
“What I love best is that every year some new vendor brings a whole spate of plants to one of the booths we’ve never had before, and of course, the 'old' vendors keep us guessing by bringing in novelties,” he said.
“It’s always the allure of what’s new and different that appeals to me most,” he added. “I have found no end of unusual plants at this sale over the decades.”
At the Denver Botanic Gardens Plant Sale, you’re bound to find exotic plants for every place in your landscape: desert-tough plants or aquatic plants; plants of different sizes and shapes and colors; plants with curious foliage or odd fruits; plants that seem like something from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. Even artful container gardens that serve as living sculptures.
Denver Botanic Gardens’ Director of Exhibitions, Art & Interpretation, Lisa Eldred said her favorite aspect of the Spring Plant Sale is the mood.
“The enthusiasm of attendees and passionate, knowledgeable staff makes it a true kickoff to the spring and summer season,” she said.
“I particularly like the ready-made and build-your-own container gardens. The forms of the original troughs and the textures of the succulents make these true works of art.”
Eldred advised Plant Sale shoppers: “Celebrate the opportunity to select and purchase plants within an inspiring garden setting,” she said. “And bring bags, a wagon, and friends.”

Denver Botanic Gardens’ sale will feature water-smart plants that promote water conservation, as well as options from Plant Select program for high plains gardens. Shoppers can benefit from horticulturists’ site maps recommending plants layouts for new or established gardens. The big piece of advice stressed by Denver Botanic Gardens and veteran plant sale shoppers is this: Bring your own wagon.

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