The signs that Spring is right around the corner are everywhere. Longer days, warmer temperatures, trees budding and flowers starting to wake from their winter sleep lead those of us who love to dig in the dirt to start shopping for plants. What if your plant purchases could also help maintain The Arboretum and Gardens at Tanglewood Park? The Forsyth County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale will be April 20th–22nd at Tanglewood Park. Plant selections include unique annuals and herbaceous perennials, as well as flowering shrubs and trees, such as native plants, milkweed, herbs, vegetables and much more! Plus, there will be Master Gardener Volunteers on hand to answer any questions you may have.
In 2001, The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center, took over the maintenance of the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park. Originally, the Arboretum was the overlook area where weddings were held, but today there are over 25 gardens maintained by Extension staff and Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. It is a public garden containing a diverse collection of plants. As the Arboretum has expanded over the years, the funds needed to maintain the lush gardens for visitors have, too.
“The funds raised at the Spring Plant Sale are used to support The N.C. Cooperative Extension’s management of the Arboretum, including ongoing maintenance and restoration of the gardens, as well as educational programs, including guest speakers for our lecture series. Plants, shrubs, trees, soil, fertilizers, and chemicals are just a few of the items required for gardening. Three big projects that funds from the plant sale have helped include a substantial donation toward the beautiful deer fence that was installed a few years ago to protect the gardens from the deer that roam the park, the Adult Education Gardening Sessions that are held each month in the Arboretum office and the Youth Education Program for third graders held each spring. An Extension Agent has served as Director of the Arboretum since we took over the maintenance of the Arboretum, and we also have a part-time Maintenance Technician dedicated to the Arboretum. We are very fortunate that Extension Master Gardener Volunteers donate over 400 hours of their time each year to care for the gardens,” said Teresa Lowry, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
The plant sale provides a large selection of plants, many that have been dug, divided, potted, and shared from Master Gardener Volunteers’ gardens, and some that are shared from gardens in the Arboretum, including many natives from the Wildflower Garden. The Greenhouse purchases seeds and small plants to grow its annuals, herbs, and vegetables. Approximately 50 different plant species in different varieties and colors will be offered. “The Nursery will have approximately 175 different varieties of perennials, shrubs and trees for sale along with the plants from the Greenhouse. The native plants tend to sell out quickly,” Teresa stated. Along with the many plants that will be for sale, volunteers donate “gently used” gardening and lawn care items that they no longer use. Past sale items have included books, pots, vases, tools, compost bins, baskets, and numerous other items.
The sale is considered by many to be one of the premier plant sales in the country, growing each year, with customers making it a success. “We encourage everyone to shop early for the best selection, since the past several years have provided a long line of customers prior to the sale’s opening at 8 am. On the days of the sale, we make every effort to staff the nursery and the greenhouse with our Master Gardener Volunteers. If a question is asked and we do not know the answer, we take the person’s name and phone number and will follow up with them after consulting the Extension Agent. Our Master Gardener Volunteers have completed 40 hours of training and 40 hours of volunteering during their first year. Our program provides participants with 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In return for their training, they volunteer their time and expertise in support of many community programs and activities,” commented Teresa.
The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale is April 20th, 2018, 8 am–1 pm; April 21st, 8 am–1 pm; April 22nd, 1 pm–4 pm at The Arboretum and Gardens at Tanglewood Park, 4201 Manor House Circle, Clemmons, NC. General questions about the Arboretum should be directed to Leslie Peck, Extension Agent and Director of the Arboretum, at 336.703.2850.