The Great Plant Sale—an event that lives up to its name


There’s a reason members line up an hour before the members’ preview on Thursday afternoon and why everyone else gets to the Botanical Gardens (2655 S. Park Ave.; or 827-1584) bright and early on Friday morning. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Great American Plant Sale is no longer a best-kept secret.


This benefit event for the Gardens offers the opportunity to pre-order plants, starting in February. In May, they can pick up their preorders and shop from an additional selection of plants, including annuals, perennials, shrubs, even a few trees. The preorder period for 2018 has now expired, but there are ample plants available on May 17–19. A preview for members happens 4–9 p.m., May 17; the sale opens to the general public May 18, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and May 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.


Highlights from the sale:

Japanese maples: Unusual and beautiful varieties of these have been available in recent sales.


Hanging baskets: The prices are considerably lower than at most nurseries, and there are gorgeous fuschia and begonia cultivars available most years.


Hydrangeas and other popular shrubs: Look for varieties that bloom on new wood, making pruning worries unnecessary.


Coleus and other foliage plants: This sale offers one of the largest selections of coleus available anywhere.


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