Arboretum gears up for spring plant sale


Plant lovers celebrating the return of warm weather after the brutal February snowstorm are invited to attend the colorful spring plant sale, organized by the Wood County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

The popular event is set to kick off April 16 and 17 in the gardens surrounding the historic 1869 Stinson House that serves as the cornerstone of the arboretum, 175 Governor Hogg Pkwy. in Quitman.

Organizers are hoping for a solid turnout after weathering the winter storm and year-long pandemic that hampered annual fundraising efforts due to social distancing and safety precautions.  

A successful sale could help the arboretum regain lost ground, said Garden Manager Lin Grado, noting the upcoming sale is expected to be larger than in previous years.  

“We’ve been working with our growers so we can offer more plants than ever before,” Grado said. “We use local growers, so the perennials and shrubs are suited for our area. I’m a plant geek, so every plant we sell is one I’d like to plant in my own garden.”

The arboretum did not escape the effects of the February deep freeze, but caretakers are finding opportunity amid the loss. 

“We’ve been searching for alternatives to fill the gaps,” Grado said. “We will have a wide variety of annual color and permanent plantings to enhance the gardens.”

The event kicks off with a members-only presale opportunity planned for 4-6 p.m. April 16, followed by the actual sale, set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the following day. 

Stock will be replenished ahead of the Saturday sale.

Annual memberships start at $25, and people can join Friday evening to take advantage of shopping early. Members also receive a discount on their plant purchases.

“While costs from the growers have increased due to their losses during the freeze, we are trying to keep our prices low,” said Deanna Caldwell, president of Friends of the Arboretum, which oversees the grounds. “Another way to lower your price is through membership, which provides a discount at both our spring and fall sales.”

Proceeds from the event support the care and upkeep of the arboretum, including replacement of freeze-damaged shrubs and last fall’s installation of perimeter metal fencing to protect the grounds from destructive feral hogs. 

Shoppers are asked to observe proper safety practices and social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available. 

Visitors this year can select from a diverse collection of specimens to enjoy, from locally grown annuals and perennials to herbs, shrubs, grasses and trees. 

The annual spring plant sale is only one of many projects offered throughout the year at the arboretum, a 23-acre garden venue that also features a walking trail, theme gardens, tribute plantings and new Monarch way station. 

For more information about supporting the arboretum, visit or Information is also available by phone at 430-235-5461 or email,

Submitted by Jacque Hilburn-Simmons