We Need Your Help At the Plant Sale!

We still have openings in the teams that will be checking out all those awesome plants; no one works alone and only basic arithmetic is needed to count plants, add up purchases, make sure correct amounts are written on checks or to use Square to swipe a credit card. No personal equipment is needed, we supply everything, including calculators.

Please click here to sign up online to help us at the sale.


Ramp up your Gardening Know-How

Hellebore: You Have to Have!

Pre-Plant Sale Talks

The Friends’ mission is education and our big event to support all of our programs throughout the year is the Plant Sale in the Tent during the first weekend in May: May 5th-6th (Members Only shopping is on Mary 4th)

Throughout the month of April we’re offering a number of Gardening programs for free or a nominal fee to help you get your garden ready for spring (umm, when will that be?), and to help you plan for shopping at the sale, of course. Our first talk (last week) was so popular that we ask you to pre-register for the upcoming talks. Just follow the links, below, for more information and registration:

  • Saturday, April 28, Morris County Master Gardeners’ extravaganza of popular talks. Register here.
    • 10:00 am Renewing Your Garden, Veronica Dengler,
    •   1:00 pm Cottage Gardening Style, Diane Lattanzio,
    •   3:00 pm Starting Your Vegetable Garden, Wing-Yee Pavlosky
  • Friday, May 4 at 2 pm Exclusive presale celebration and talk by Caren White, The Herb Lady, Register here.

Follow the links above for more details on these talks and this year’s plant sale.


The 2018 Friends Plant Sale

What’s so great about our Annual Plant Sale? Just about everything! Not only is it one of the biggest plant sales in the tristate area, it’s also an important fundraiser. Just think, by volunteering at the sale and shopping for thousands of gorgeous plants you are helping ensure that the Friends will continue to sponsor the many popular horticultural programs hosted at the Arboretum throughout the year. How great is that?

So, block your calendar for May 4–6 and let your friends and neighbors know by sending them this link to our Plant Sale page ( Starting in April, you’ll find a list of hundreds of different vegetables, herbs, annuals and tropicals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. You’ll also find planting recommendations from our plant experts and links to our growers. And, to really get involved, learn more about our plants, and have lots of fun, volunteer to help at the sale by registering online at the link on the right.

The weekend of the sale, we’ll again offer exclusive shopping to our members from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Friday, May 4th This year we're again offering super exclusive access to our members with a special event featuring a talk on herbs and light refreshments starting at 2 pm.  See the Events page for details and to sign up. The plant sale will be open to the public that weekend between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with plant advisors on hand throughout to help with recommendations of what will work best in your garden.

We’re all looking forward to seeing you at the sale!
Ilona Ontscherenki, for the entire Plant Sale Team 


What Trees to plant this year

Goregeous, understory trees, ones that will draw the eye slowly up from your perennials to your towering shade trees. Ones to plant at the edge of your woodland or as a specimen in your lawn.  We have picked the best flowering varieties of dogwood for this years sale: 'Greensleeves', with masses of big white flower bracts that can linger for over a month; 'Wolf Eyes', a smaller form, with foliage edged in white that brightens a part shade setting all season; 'Scarlet Fire', the new Rutgers red bloomer featured here. We'll also have a shrubby redbud, 'Avondale', and one in tree form, 'Rising Sun', that has outrageously colorful foliage throughout summer after having a characteristic bloom in magenta in the spring. And then there are more natives: 'Autumn Brilliance' amelanchier and the difficult-to-find continus obovatus. Also, consider cornus 'Kintoki', which has put out lemon yellow blooms for over a month now and will bloom for several more weeks, or the exquisite 'Emerald Pagoda' styrax that will bloom in a month with hundreds of delicately dangling snowbells of flowers.

Garden Design magazine has just posted an online article on the 12 best small trees on their site, featuring many of the trees we'll have at the sale (sorry, the jacaranda is not hardy here).


Orange you interested in the Best Plants?

We have Chuck Hinkle from the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore here this Saturday at 10 a.m. to tell you about dozens of terrific plants.  Sure, Chuck is Horticulturist at one of the leading arboreta on the East Coast so he knows alot about plants, but we're bringing him here this weekend because he's also on the selection committee for PHS Gold Medal plants.  All the plants that make this list are tested over several hears for gardenworthiness in Zones 5-7.  That's not just Pennsylvania, its New Jersey, too.  Another reason Chuck is coming is that we will have dozens of Gold Medal plants at the sale in May.  What a perfect way to learn more about those plants and why they are likely to thrive in your own garden? (Likely, because you do need to plant them well and keep them well watered for at least the first couple of years.)


Pruning or Ruining?

Gail Di Domenico
Gail Di Domenico

by Gail Di Domenico, Morris County Master Gardener

This Thursday, March 29th at 7 pm,  free - no registration required

The Friends are featuring a number of gardening talks leading up to the plant sale this year and we’ve just added Gail Di Domenico’s popular talk on pruning.  Maybe you’ve suffered storm damage from the storms earlier this month.  Maybe you’ve just realized that you’ve got a couple of shrubs about to swallow your house. Maybe you want to learn how to prune to get better flowering.  Or, maybe you’re afraid and just don’t know how to make that first cut.

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