We’ve been fortunate to experience beautiful weather this spring and recent rains should boost those seeds planted outdoors. If you’re looking for your own gardening boost, a number of plant sales scheduled in the coming weeks should do the trick. Master gardeners and other organizations sell perennials such as hosta and daylillies, along with vegetable seedlings, herbs, wildflowers and annual flowers that will brighten your garden beds and attract pollinators.
Local sales such as these are the best way to find plants that are suitable for Iowa’s climate and oftentimes, you can talk directly to the gardeners who grow the plants for their expert advice.
Following are 2016 spring plant sales in Eastern Iowa. If you know of others, leave the information in the comment section, below, and I’ll add it to the list.
Edible Plant Sale Fundraiser hosted by Backyard Abundance
Saturday, April 30
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, Iowa City
Knowledgeable gardeners will be available to help people choose from a wide variety of locally-grown vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit trees and berry shrubs. Local vendors will sell mushroom kits, willow basketry and herbal remedies. Proceeds fund educational yard tours and environmental classes in Johnson County. All plants were carefully selected to maximize yield, resist diseases and thrive in the Iowa climate. Visitors can buy tomatoes, peppers, kale, cabbage, broccoli and many other vegetables and herbs. Berry bushes will also be for sale: blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, aronia berry, jostaberry and gooseberry. For more information, visit www.BackyardAbundance.org
Plants For Mom sale – find plants for Mother’s Day and beyond; 500 block of 20th Street NE, Cedar Rapids (two blocks downhill from Franklin Middle School)
8 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 5; 1-4 p.m. Friday, May 6, and 8-10 a.m. Saturday, May 14. Jade plants, aloe vera, “pregnant” plants, hosta, daylillies, aster, allium, bluebells of Scotland, vinca, calla lily, lily of the valley, comfrey and more, plus willow branches, dried hydrangea, gardening accessories.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Spring Garden Festival
May 5 opening night party runs 6 to 8 p.m. and is a ticketed event. Advance tickets are available online. This is the first chance to see the sale and also includes live music, botanically-inspired cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The party also includes a butterfly release and brief program at 6:45 p.m. Raffle tickets at the event will be sold for four sets of garden chairs and table, modeled after the famous sets in the Chanticleer garden.
On May 6, guests are invited to shop and celebrate National Public Garden Day, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. National gardening expert Kathleen Ziemer will present a lecture on pollinators at 1 p.m. in the DuPont Room. On May 7, the sale runs 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and national gardening expert Dan Benarcik will discuss the Chanticleer garden on Wayne, Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. in the DuPont East Room. On May 8, the sale runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and mothers get in to the Festival and Garden for free.
Admission to the Garden covers admission to the Festival with the exception of the special
ticketed event on May 5. For more information, visit dmbotanicalgarden.org/sgf16
The Cedar Valley Iris and Daylily Society (CVIDS) is having their Spring plant sale at the Gazebo at the Environmental Learning Center, 3300 Cedar St., Muscatine, on Saturday, May 7, from 9-11:30 a.m. This is a great chance to pick up some very nice registered hybrid daylilies and iris as well as some perennial plants. More information available at cvids.org.
Indian Creek Nature Center, Spring Plant Sale
The Nature Center Guild is ready to fill your yard and garden with a variety of beautiful wildflowers, hostas, geraniums, perennials and prairie plants at their annual Spring Plant Sale, from 9 a.m.- noon on Saturday, May 7, at the Nature Center.
Select beautiful hanging baskets and planters or choose individual plants to create your own masterpiece. You’ll also find a great selection of fruits and vegetables ready to transplant into your garden, along with a beautiful selection of garden art. Gardening experts are on hand to answer your questions and make suggestions about what plants will work best for your individual situation. And if you’re looking for garden art and accessories, vendors are ready to provide unique and attractive pieces to help you create a charming garden showcase in your yard. The Spring Plant Sale is one of two annual fundraising events benefiting the Indian Creek Nature Center organized by the Nature Center Guild, along with Nature’s Noel in December.
Project GREEN Garden Fair
Saturday, May 7; 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Our annual fair will offer sunny perennials, shade perennials, hostas, trees and shrubs, and shade groundcovers, along with t-shirts, totes, and wonderful ideas for your garden patio. Once again, Mother’s Day falls on the day after the fair (May 8th), and we will be selling special gifts of planted container gardens.
The Good Earth Garden Club, 2016 Plant Sale
May 7, May 14 and May 15, 8am to 4pm
740 Old Marion Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids
See the listing of many of the plants for sale.
Harshbarger Hosta Society Hosta Sale
8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 14, at the Noelridge Hosta Shade Garden, Collins Road and Council Street NE, Cedar Rapids
Brucemore Plant Sale
When: Sat. May 14, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Where: Brucemore (Lord & Burnham Greenhouse) 2160 Linden Drive, SE., Cedar Rapids
Take home a treasure from Brucemore’s 1915 Lord & Burnham greenhouse at the annual Brucemore Plant Sale. Several plants seen in Brucemore’s formal garden will be available for sale, including annuals, perennials, and hanging baskets. A variety of herbs will also be available, including basil, thyme, and rosemary. Plant Sale prices range from $2.50 to $50.00 with all the proceeds benefiting garden and landscape rehabilitation projects at Brucemore. The garden staff will be available to provide expert advice on the selection, placement, and care of plants.
Green Scene Plant Sale, Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to noon or until sold out.
Location: Cattle Congress Ag Bldg., 257 Ansborough Ave, Waterloo
Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale
Linn County Extension, 383 Collins Road, Cedar Rapids
Saturday, May 14, 8 am to Noon
As always, pick plants for your garden from many kinds of perennials (both for sun and or shade), and many varieties of hosta and daylilies, also wildflowers, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, annuals and more. These plants come from our Master Gardeners’ gardens and greenhouse, where they were carefully dug and potted, and tenderly taken care of until the sale day. Best of all, they are priced for anyone who likes a bargain. Take Master Gardener plants home, grow them and enjoy them for years to come. In addition a variety of vegetables, including heirloom tomatoes, will be available. Master Gardeners will help you choose the plants right for you and will answer your gardening questions.
Johnson County Master Gardeners
Ninth Annual Garden Sale and Flea Market on Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Johnson County Fair Grounds in Building B.
Friends of Hickory Hill Park Monarch Madness & Plant Sale
When: Sat. May 14, 10am – 4pm and Sun. May 15, 10am – 4pm
Where: Bloomington Street Entrance to Hickory Hill Park, Iowa City
Monarch Madness will feature live milkweed plants for sale to home gardeners. We will offer the usual array of prairie and other donated plants, including a number that encourage monarchs. Donations go to park stewardship and conservation projects.