May is a banner month for public garden plant sales. This year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, curator Don Mahoney is growing the fragrant luculia shrub, for which, he says, “a local nursery had a waiting list 35 people long.” At the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, director of horticulture Dorthe Hviid has been dividing some of the garden's historic collection of daylilies, readying them for sale. Below, a few of the nation's plant sales and their time-tested best sellers.
Berkshire Botanical Garden May 6–7 Look for: Cimicifuga simplex ‘Hillside Black Beauty’; Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘Diamond Frost’; and Talinum paniculatum ‘Kingswood Gold’. berkshirebotanical.org
Alaska Botanical Garden May 21 Look for: unique perennials such as Akebia quinata ‘Purple Rose’ (pictured).alaskabg.org
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum May 7, 13, 27 and June 4, 10 Look for: leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) and Nebraska natives such as aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius). arboretum.unl.edu
North Carolina Arboretum May 14 and May 17 Look for: Chrysanthemum ‘Norton Vic’ and a wide selection of dahlias. ncarboretum.org
San Francisco Botanical Garden May 6 (members only) and May 7 Look for: Thirty species of fuchsia and 18-foot-tall dahlias. sfbotanicalgarden.org
Denver Botanic Gardens May 5 Plant Sale Preview (tickets: $35); May 6–7 Look for: 85,000 plants like drought-resistant red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora). botanicgardens.org