Mark your calendar: Saturday, April 9, is the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum’s annual Spring Plant Sale. Located in the Eucalyptus Grove overlooking Monterey Bay, the sale offers colorful, water-wise succulents, small trees, and plentiful other plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California. This year, many of the featured plants attract birds, particularly hummingbirds, and most of these can't be found at local nurseries or elsewhere in the state. Gardening experts are always available to answer questions about the plants and offer advice to ensure they thrive. Food and beverages can be purchased as well.
This event is always a great success thanks to the tireless efforts of the Arboretum staff organizers and the hundreds of energetic volunteers who work all year growing the plants. Phyllis Norris, long-time volunteer says, "Our plant sales are a cooperative adventure between the Arboretum’s fine staff and wonderful volunteers. The Spring Plant Sale 2016 is right around the corner and, once again, the sale would be almost impossible to hold without the hard work of all of us.”
Not only do the staff and volunteers work hard all year but they enthusiastically double their efforts in the few weeks prior to the sale. The eucalyptus grove area is cleared and cleaned, each plant is labeled and priced before being moved up to grove, and fencing is installed to prevent the plants from becoming a delicious dinner for deer and other creatures.
On sale day, staff and volunteers start early setting up tables for membership, Norrie's gift sales, food, and information and posting signs for easy navigation. Throughout the day, volunteers handle sales, answer questions (or find someone who can), provide plant and planting information, and guide happy customers around the grove. Once the sale is over, volunteers help clear the area of tables and chairs so the regulars visitors (birds, butterflies, deer) can return. Any remaining plants are loaded on trucks to be taken to Norrie's Gift Shop.
As in previous years, the Arboretum's plant sale is a joint event with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). For Arboretum and CNPS members only, on Saturday, April 9, the "doors" open at 10 am then the public sale starts at noon. The Eucalyptus Grove is located on High Street at the intersection with Western Drive. For early entrance to both the Spring and Fall plant sales (first choice of plants!) and to support the Arboretum, consider becoming a member. Memberships can be purchased online http://arboretum.ucsc.edu before the sale or at the gate the day of the sale.
Get the latest event information and plant list on the event page.