The Plant Sale

Header image: The Annual Plant Sale, held on the West Lawn in 1998 (photo by Wayne Prowse)

The Plant Sale was established to raise awareness and funds to support all manner of activities at The Arboretum. For the first sale in 1992, volunteers grew rare and native plants off-site and donated them to be sold. Over the years the Plant Sale has shifted locations, size and focus. In some years dedicated Arboretum Auxiliary volunteers grow an expanded selection of plants in the on-site Propagation Centre. It has been combined with an Expo featuring a range of research, teaching and affiliated groups. In 2020 during the pandemic, it switched to an online auction with physically distanced curbside pickups.

A red tractor with a trailer full of plants drives through a line of tables covered with plants. Two men stand speaking and watching the tractor. The man on the left is wearing a white long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. His arms are open wide as he gestures while speaking. The man on his right is wearing a green long sleeve shirt and cargo pants. He holds a clipboard in his hand.

A tractor delivers plants from the Arboretum shade house to the sale area.

Two men lean over to place price tags on plants. The man closest to the camera wears a green long sleeve shirt, a cream and blue baseball cap, and cargo pants. The man behind him wears a blue long sleeve shirt and glasses.

Two volunteers place price stickers on plants at the Plant Sale.

A man in the foreground is leaning over to inspect and move potted plants. Behind him, a group of four people stand in a circle speaking. They all appear to be looking at a tree sapling.

A customer bends over to look at plants for sale.

A group of people stand behind a selection of saplings. A sapling on the right has green leaves, while the one in the centre and the one on the right has pink buds. All saplings have their roots tied in a brown bag and are propped up for display.

Plant sale shoppers inspect a group of trees that are up for auction.

A group of people stand in a green field surrounded by potted plants. Signs hang above the potted plants providing information on the plants and their prices

A group of people browse through rows of potted plants in the sale area in the Arboretum Nursery Compound.

A group of people browse through rows of potted plants in a field. Informational signs are hung above the plants.

Crowd of people browse through The Arboretum’s Plant Sale.

A crowd browses through rows of potted plants in a field on a sunny day.

Plant Sale, 2003.

A man on a blue tractor with a trailer attached pulls plants out of a greenhouse. A man in a plaid shirt stands nearby watching.

A staff member and volunteer prepare for The Arboretum’s Plant Sale, 2007.

A group of people browse through rows of potted plants for sale in a large field. Many people are dressed for the rain or hold umbrellas.

A crowd braves the rain for the Plant Sale, 2014.

 A group of volunteers pose for a picture behind a table of plants.

Arboretum Gardener and Arboretum Auxiliary volunteers pose for a picture behind plants they grew for the Plant Sale, 2015.

A group of people move and organize the potted plants for sale in a large open field. A wooden gazebo is seen in the far right of the image.

Arboretum Staff and Arboretum Auxiliary members set up the Plant Sale on the West Lawn, 2019.

This is a sampling of some of the many photos that have been taken and people that have been a part of The Arboretum’s 50 years of operations. Do you have some photos you would like to share? Upload them to our Arboretum History Kudoboard.