Our plant sale requires many months of planning and an intense week of work to process and sort the more than 4,000 plants and 100+ native species that we offer. Temperatures for three of the days this year were well into the 90's, and the physical labor of moving, sorting and watering plants is constant. Yet spirits are high as every one of us loves doing it! The best part are the many conversations had among our community— customers, volunteers, and staff— talking about the plants, ecological discoveries, and our many projects.
We have run our Native Plant Sale since 2015, and are proud of its growth. Powered by demand from our community and the hard work of our staff and volunteers, it has become one of the largest sales of its kind in New England. Traditionally, in a "normal" year, we offer a pre-ordering option for members and a public one-day sale open to all. This allows us to bring to market well over 100 species of native plants, ranging from small trees and shrubs, to perennials, grasses and ferns.
For the past two years, because of COVID-19, we have re-tooled the sale in various formats— to be by pre-order only in 2020, and then by scheduled in-person shopping in 2021 to limit crowd size and maintain social distancing. We sincerely hope for a "new normal" in 2022— to be able to return to our traditional pre-order option for members and a lively general sale day open to the public. But the pandemic is still with us and it is too early to predict entirely at this point, so stay tuned.
Highlights of our 2021 Plant Sale
Thank you to all who helped us run a successful sale this year— especially our many volunteers and all of our members and customers!
- For the third year in a row, we sold more than 4,000 plants— with our totals steadily inching up and reaching 4,545 plants this year.
- We offered 100 native species, including several that are hard to find so we had them custom-grown. Those included Oenothera fruticosa (Narrow-leaved evening primrose), Penstemon hirsutus (Northeastern beardtongue), Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm), Solidago caesia (Bluestem goldenrod), and several others.
- Our 58 super hard-working volunteers contributed over 700 hours of work. Most of that was during the sale week— unloading wholesale orders; sorting, labeling and watering plants; helping customers with plant selection; setting up and cleaning up every day.
- More than 350 customers purchased plants. The largest purchase was $1,500 and the smallest was $8!
- Thank you to all of our members! More than 170 of you became members or renewed your membership in connection with the sale. This support, combined with general plant sale revenues, netted over $38,000 for our programs year-round.