Tips for Attending the 2023 Fall Plant Sale
Summer is coming to an end, and that means it’s time for one of the most popular fall plant events in Central Virginia: Lewis Ginter’s Fall Plant Sale! This year’s sale will take place on September 15th and September 16th from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M
The Fall Plant Sale is not only a highlight for our members and community. It’s also a special time for the Garden’s volunteers as it’s the top volunteer lead event of the season. Here, two longtime participants (with combined volunteer experience of 36 years) and Lewis Ginter’s Director of Volunteers, Karen Clowers, share everything you need to know about the sale and what makes it such a special event year after year.
What Makes the Fall Plant Sale a Must for Gardening Enthusiasts?
“The sale is wonderful opportunity to get your plant questions answered by Master Gardeners, as well as other experts,” says Helen Blencowe, a volunteer since 2013 and now Plant Sale Vendor Coordinator. “Fall is the season for planting and the Plant Sale is the perfect time to get your garden plan organized.”
“The Plant Sale is also great chance to meet other volunteers and there’s A LOT of us!” adds Nancy Penick, the Bloemendaal Council Plant Sale Representative, who has been volunteering at the Fall Plant Sale since 2009 and hasn’t missed a year since. “If you love talking plants, it’s the place to be.”
Where is the Fall Plant Sale and What Vendors Will Be There?
This year, the Fall Plant Sale will be held in a bigger location: outdoors in Parking Lot C. No admission fee or ticket is required to attend. There will be more than 50 vendors, including native plant specialists like Good Seed Natives, Sheepdog Estate, and Woodside Pawpaw, as well as local organizations like VA Master Naturalists – Riverine Chapter and Wild Ones Greater Richmond providing educational materials.
In addition to a wide variety of plants and landscaping items, shoppers can also browse produce, seasonings, tea, art, and other gifts for nature lovers including items from the Garden Shop, which will have a booth this year. “There are so many wonderful things from local makers to see,” says Karen Clowers, Lewis Ginter’s Director of Volunteers. “My favorite purchase over the years is probably a pair of alpaca socks, which are so warm and cozy.”
It’s My First Time at the Plant Sale. What Should I Do to Make the Most of It?
- Bring Your Questions
“The volunteers are always happy to answer any questions you might have,” says Blencowe. “We can help you find plants, locate vendors, and offer advice, so don’t be shy about coming over to our tent to talk.”
- Research Vendors and Bring a List
“Our website has a list of plants and vendors that can be printed,” says Clowers. “Give it a look ahead of time to plan out which vendors you want to be sure and see. Bring the list with you, and we’ll make sure you find the booths you’re looking for.”
- Bring Garden Notes and Photos
Take a good look at your garden and make notes of shady or sunny spots so you’ll know what level of sun exposure new plants will have. “You can even come with pictures on your phone to show our Master Gardeners for suggestions,” says Blencowe.
- Pack a Wagon, and Your Pup!
“We really encourage shoppers to bring a wagon or a foldable type of cart to help carry all their finds,” says Clowers. “We do offer plant customer pick up, too.” The Plant Sale is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring well-behaved pups on a leash.
- Don’t Forget Your Garden Tools
“Bring your gardening tools for sharpening,” says Penick. Mr. Leonard’s Sharpening Service will be on-site, and visitors can drop off tools, knives, and scissors when they arrive, shop, then pick them up before they go.