Check out these open garden days and plant sales near Raleigh to find organic herbs, local perennials and even some exotic blooms.
by Emma Deal
With warm weather approaching and flowers ready to bloom, Spring is on its way. If you’re ready to introduce some new energy into your garden with organic herbs, local perennials or even some exotic blooms, there are plenty of sales in the Raleigh area that can supply the perfect plant. Here are 11 plant sales in the Raleigh area, from gardens to arboretums and festivals to where you can learn about the environment and experience the liveliness of spring with craft vendors, good food and music.
Take a Spring Gardening Course
For a step-by-step guide through Spring Vegetable Gardening visit Logan’s Garden Shop. Register online for a few drop-in classes to learn everything you need to know to get started with your spring vegetable garden. Logan’s is open year round to shop for all your garden needs from décor to plants or even bird feeders, but these classes held once a week will give you new ideas for what to plant and how to care for them. Resident garden shop specialist Deb Nelson will share the six core aspects of spring vegetable gardening in the courses and how-to guides will be provided at the end of each class, which cover the material from each lesson.
Saturdays February 11 – March 25 | 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.; $25 per class; 707 Semart Drive; logantrd.com
Atlantic Gardening Floral Design Workshop
Atlantic Gardening has everything a gardener can dream of from a nursery with a gorgeous selection of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs to a greenhouse with a menagerie of houseplants, cacti, succulents and orchids to a garden shop with a wide selection of quality garden supplies to a floral studio with bouquets for every occasion and even a garden bar where you can sip while you shop and make DIY bouquets Friday – Sunday. Apart from shopping for any garden needs you might have, come visit Atlantic Gardening for a floral design workshop Feb. 25 to create your own Tabletop Topiary Tree using fresh flowers in a spring color palette. The flowers will dry nicely in your design so they will be a keepsake-dried arrangement that will last. This workshop will include a free drink and a 20% off coupon to the garden shop.
Feb. 25 | 2-4 p.m.; $65; 5217 Atlantic Avenue, Raleigh; atlanticgardening.com
Duke Gardens Members Only Spring Plant Sale
Visit Duke Gardens’ 55 acres of specialized gardens in the heart of Duke University for its spring plant sale to find an array of plants ideal for this region, including Duke Gardens plants, trees, shrubs, vines, bulbs and air plants, as well as expert gardening advice from Duke Gardens’ staff and volunteers. This sale is only open to members (click here to learn how to become a member), who will receive 10% off all plants during the preview sale and the public sale. Advance registration is needed to attend the sale, and a list of plants that will be available will be given at the sale. Profits from this plant sale help Duke Gardens to offer four paid summer internships to aspiring horticultural professionals each year.
March 24 | 4-6 p.m.; 420 Anderson Street, Durham; gardens.duke.edu
Gardeners of Wake County Azalea Plant Sale
Stop by the spacious NC State Fairgrounds Flower and Garden area (enter at Gate 6) for the Gardeners of Wake County’s annual Azalea Sale to find hundreds of varieties (including hard-to-find ones) of popular flowering bushes. The proceeds support scholarship grants for North Carolina State University horticulture students which has amounted to $10,000 to $20,000 in past years. “Our club was founded to spread good gardening practices as well as enhance the beauty of Wake County. We are especially proud of the financial support we are able to offer NC State students in the Horticultural Sciences program,” says club President Tom Packer. One variety in particular — the Wolfpack Red, a traditional azalea developed by a horticulturist at NC State — tends to go quickly. Get there early — they often sell out. “’We will exhibit about 120 varieties of azaleas, the largest in the Triangle area, including about 80 varieties of single blooming classic evergreens, 24 Encore multi blooming varieties, six varieties of Perfecto Mundo multi-blooming varieties and 14 varieties of deciduous azaleas, all NC grown and in a variety of astonishing colors and bloom designs,” says Charlie Leverett, who chairs the sale.
March 30 – April 8 (except for Sunday, April 2) | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free admission & parking; Gate 6 off of Youth Center Drive, NC State Fairgrounds, 4285 Trinity Road, Raleigh; gardenersofwakecounty.weebly.com
54th Annual Spring Pottery and Glass Festival
Cedar Creek’s 54th Annual Spring Pottery and Glass Festival will include plant sales in their on-site nursery, Falls Revival. Although their plants are sold year-round, the festival is an excuse to enjoy the garden and grounds while you discover more than 200 local and national artists in the gallery and watch on-site artists demonstrate their craft and talk about their creative process. Take a History Walking Tour of Cedar Creek, grab some grub from on-site food trucks and listen to live music. After experiencing all the festival has to offer, visit the nursery to choose from a selection of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs and even exotics.
March 31, April 1 – 2 & April 8 – 9; 1150 Fleming Road, Creedmoor; cedarcreekgallery.com
JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale
J.C. Raulston Arboretum’s first-ever hybrid online and in-person plant sale will begin during their annual Raulston Blooms Festival. The spring plant sale will open with an online sale and end with the traditional in-person sale during Raulston Blooms. The sale will have new introductions, hard-to-find specialty plants and educational gardening talks. This sale will allow everyone access to the unique plants usually only available to arboretum members. At the in-person sale, the arboretum will have lots of food trucks, festival fun for children and a spectacular selection of Piedmont plants including hellebores, ferns, trillium, cyclamen and other perennial favorites.
Online sale April 6 for members & April 10 for the general public; In-person members-only preview sale April 29 | 4-7 p.m. & open to the public during Raulston Blooms April 30 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Free for members and college students with college identification, $5.00 for nonmembers & $10.00 per family; 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh; jcra.ncsu.edu
Raleigh Garden Club Spring Plant Sale
The Raleigh Garden Club’s Spring Plant Sale will be at Highland United Methodist Church. Raleigh Garden Club’s decade old plant sale generates funds they donate to community programs and civic improvement projects that help make the city more beautiful. The Raleigh Garden Club also educates and advises the public about gardening in the Triangle and organizes fun events to get like-minded plant lovers together.
April 20 – 22; Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Road; raleigh-garden-club.org
Plant Delights’ Juniper Level Botanic Open Garden Days
Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery has Open Garden Days just eight times a year. This spring, they will have a wide selection of new, rare native plants. With 27,000+ different plants from around the world, gorgeous display gardens spreading 10 acres, and a diverse selection of perennial plants online, Plant Delights Nursery is worth exploring both in person and electronically.
April 28 – 30 & May 5 – 7 | Friday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Sunday 1-5 p.m.; 9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh; plantdelights.com
Wake Forest HerbFest
HerbFest, located in historic downtown Wake Forest, is the longest-running herb festival in the United States and benefits the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment. At Herbfest you can find everything organic from local perennials to herb plants, vegetables, herb crafts, cosmetic soaps and even cooking recipes. HerbFest offers free admission, educational seminar and live entertainment in addition to the plants on sale.
April 28 – 30 & May 5 -7 | Friday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 527 S White Street, Wake Forest; herbfest.net
North Carolina Botanical Garden Spring Native Plant Sale
This upcoming plant sale will have southeastern native plants grown at UNC Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Botanical Garden nursery. From native wildflowers to trees, shrubs and ferns, their spring sale will help fund their mission of educating the community about the importance of conserving native plant habitats and striving for a sustainable relationship between people and plants.
May 6; 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill; ncbg.unc.edu
Friends of the Page-Walker 12th Annual Herbfest
The Friends will be hosting their 12th annual Herbfest on the lovely grounds of the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in downtown Cary. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit booths selling herbs, native plants and perennials in addition to craft booths where local artisans will be selling items related to gardening and nature. In addition to the opportunity to shop for plants and local crafts, this year’s Herbfest includes a must-see butterfly release at 2:30 p.m. With a special activity for the kids and a Young Friends bake sale featuring delicious treats, this festival is family-friendly. With tours of the Anne B. Kratzer Educational Garden and a local food truck available, this festival has everything you need to make an afternoon of Herbfest.
May 7 | 12-4 p.m.; 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary; friendsofpagewalker.wildapricot.org
Arthur Foodscape Spring Open Garden
Visit the Arthur Foodscape, home to bestselling author, nationally recognized speaker and horticulturist Brie Arthur to tour her gorgeous foodscape and purchase books, plants, seeds and Soil3 organic compost. We asked her to share the idea behind her Foodscape Revolution with us. “For me, it’s not either gardening for pleasure or gardening for food — you can do both,” says Arthur. Arthur hopes her garden will encourage suburban homeowners to try Foodscaping, a unique approach to gardening that incorporates fruits, vegetables and herbs into a garden alongside ornamental plants. With more than two decades of gardening experience, Arthur loves to share her expertise as an advocate for consumer horticulture and home gardening across America and hosts free open garden days twice yearly.
May 13 | noon-4 p.m.; Free; 7624 Troy Stone Drive Fuquay-Varina; briegrows.com/spring-open-garden
North Carolina Zoo Annual Plant Sale
In addition to visiting the North Carolina Zoo for their exotic lions, giraffes and zebras, this spring, come experience their outdoor annual plant sale as well. The zoo will be showcasing plants cultivated by their horticulture experts. Plant varieties vary by year, so come see what delights they have for your home or garden, and take home a piece of the zoo!
May 13; 4401 Zoo Pkwy, Asheboro; nczoo.org
Lasting Impressions Open Garden Art Show & Plant Sale
Visit Lasting Impressions for their 17th Spring Open Garden Art & Plant sale this spring. Among varieties of plants, this sale will also feature 15 local artisans. Guests will be able to purchase handmade works including woodworking, glass art, pottery, metal garden art, jewelry, baskets and botanical art. Shop owners Beth Jimenez & Amelia Lane, known for both their beautiful gardens and leaf sculptures, invite you to explore the garden, browse local art and find the perfect plant for your own garden.
April 22 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 4904 Hermitage Drive, Raleigh; lastingimpressionsleaves.com