Dwarf shrubs are highlights of Great Plant Sale at Botanical Gardens

bies koreana 'Silver-Show'
The silvery-white undersides of the needles can be seen as they curl around the branches of this ‘Silver Show’ Korean fir. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Three interesting dwarf shrubs are among the new offerings at the Great Plant Sale to be held this week in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

Also new this year is a checkout process that should speed things up.

“No more tallying plants in line,” said Kristin Pochopin, director of Horticulture. “Everything will be bar coded and scanned!”

And Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com will be a sponsor of the Great Plant Sale! I’ll have a table there, too, so please stop by and say hello!

Days and times

Norway spruce 'Lemonade'
The beautiful yellow color gives Norway spruce ‘Lemonade’ its name. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

The Great Plant Sale will take place from Thursday through Saturday, May 16 to 18.

Thursday is the day when there’s the best selection of plants, but that day is for members and volunteers only. Plus, members get a 10 percent discount.

Don’t feel left out– You can become a member! Find out about all the benefits of becoming a member of the Botanical Gardens and sign up online.

Thursday hours are 4 to 8 p.m.

The sale is open to the public on Friday and Saturday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

There is no admission charge; the sale is held in the Administration Building.

If you bought plants through the pre-order, you’ll pick them up during the sale hours.

New dwarf shrubs

These small shrubs fit nicely into any landscape. If you want something that is going to grow slowly and not get too big for your space, add these varieties to your list.

  • Korean fir ‘Silver Show’ gets its name from the silvery-white undersides of the needles that curl around the branches. It grows 3 to 6 inches a year. When it’s 10 years old, it will be about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It’s pyramid-shaped.
  • Norway spruce ‘Lemonade’ has a beautiful golden color, especially in winter. It grows 3 to 5 inches a year. When it’s 10 years old, it will be about 4 ½ feet tall and 3 feet wide. It’s pyramid-shaped.
  • Dawn redwood ‘North Light’ has variegated foliage with irregular cream-white markings. Although it’s a conifer, it is deciduous and loses its needles in winter. ‘North Light’ needs part shade and can burn in full sun. It has a globose form (grows in the shape of a globe). When it’s 10 years old, it will be about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide; it grows 3 to 6 inches a year.
Dawn redwood ‘North Light’
Dawn redwood ‘North Light’ has a globe shape and will be about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide when it’s 10 years old. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Random items from previous displays

Items that have been used in previous displays, such as witch’s balls (decorative glass balls) will be available.

The staff is cleaning out the basement and has to get rid of things that are taking up space, Pochopin explained. You don’t know what kind of cool stuff you might find!

Favorites

During the Great Plant Sale, there will be knowledgeable staff and volunteers to help you.

You can look forward to other staples of the Great Plant Sale:

  • Plants propagated from the Botanical Gardens’ extensive collection
  • Locally grown lilacs
  • “Must have” perennials for your collection
  • Tropical plants and shrubs
  • Unusual Japanese maples
  • Ginkgo trees
  • Expanded vegetable and herb selections
  • Native and drought-tolerant varieties
  • Lush hanging baskets
  • Some perennials leftover from last year that have been marked down
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