8 Tips for a Successful Plant Sale Shopping Experience

Image of Arboretum volunteer, Kend Linderholm, helping a customer

At the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden seasonal plant sales, not only do we offer the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including lots of Arboretum All-Stars and California natives, we strive to answer your questions and ensure that you meet your shopping goals. Here are some tips our experienced shoppers already know, but our newer customers may not.

Do you have more tips? Let us know! Leave your comment below.

  1. Receive a discount. Become a member and receive 10% off your plant sale purchases. New members also get a $10 off coupon. Other membership benefits include access to member’s only plant sales, free or discounted entry to other gardens, discounts at our partner nurseries, and more. LEARN MORE.
  2. Grab a cart. If you didn’t bring your own cart, use one of ours! If there are no carts available put your name on the wait list. Listen for your name to be called over the PA while you shop.
  3. Look for orange. Sales help can be found in orange aprons.
  4. Seek expert advice. “Arboretum Experts” are located in the front of our large center aisle. At this sale, local Master Gardeners are located in the front of the nursery in our demo bed courtyard. You can also find representatives from our partner nurseries, information on safe pesticide use,  ”plant doctors” and more.
  5. Check out our inventory. Download our online inventory or you can find copies at our “Arboretum Expert” and “Arboretum Resource” tables in the center aisle. LEARN MORE.
  6. Know your type. Looking for perennials, trees, vines, shrubs, succulents, grasses, bulbs, shade plants, California natives, or California natives for shade? The nursery is organized by category and signs can be found hanging from the nursery rafters.
  7. Find inspiration. Look to our demo beds both inside and just outside the nursery for ideas. Most of these plants are labeled will be for sale.
  8. Discover our gift shop. Buy unique merchandise including jewelry, tote bags and t-shirts. Every purchase supports the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Credit cards only at the gift shop.)

Fall plant sale recap

Photo from the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum Fall 2013 Plant Sale.

Thanks to new as well as  dedicated repeat customers, the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum’s fall plant sales were a success!  The plant inventory, selected to support the fall plant sale season theme “The New Front Yard,” inspired many shoppers to replace their lawns or refresh their landscapes.

The sales also provided a tremendous outreach venue for many of our partners—Lemuria Nursery, Davis Ace Hardware, Silverado Building Materials and Nursery, the California Native Plant Society, the California Native Grasslands Association, local Master Gardeners, Whole Foods Market in Davis, graduate students from plant pathology at our “Plant Doctor Clinic,” graduate students from entomology at our “Pesticide Safety” and “”Fungicide Safety” table,  as well as representatives from the City of Davis Integrated Pest Management—to interact with the community and provide valuable information.

As you may know, these plant sales are fundraising events for the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum. Proceeds from each plant purchase help support our gardens and education programs. With that said we are proud and fortunate to share that the fundraiser was successful and on par with previous years!

Thank you to the members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, the Davis Botanical Society, the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, Whole Foods, all our volunteers (without whom these sales would not be possible), and everyone who came out to support our fall sales.

We look forward to seeing you again in the spring!


Member sale: March 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
(Not a member? Join at the door! Members save 10%; new members save an additional $10 off.)

Public sales: April 5, April 26, and May 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.


Beer tasting event supports Arboretum shovel drive

Image of Whole Foods and beer tasting graphic.

Click to view larger image of Whole Foods Market invitation.

On Friday, August 9 from 6:30-8:30 PM, Davis Whole Foods Market is hosting a beer and food tasting event, but there’s a twist—your ticket to enter is one used shovel!

Why shovels? In an effort to help the City of Davis and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden with our quest to secure 400 used shovels for a campus and city sculpture project (read more), Whole Foods Market has generously offered to help us entice our community with a tasting featuring beer selections from Sacramento-based, Track 7 Brewing Company side-by-side with gourmet food pairings.

DATE: Friday, August 9
TIME: 6:30-8:30 PM
PLACE: Arboretum Terrace and Lois Crowe Patio & Whole Foods Market Davis
500 First Street, Davis (MAP)

Want to attend, but don’t have a used shovel? Five dollars will also gain your admittance! All proceeds to benefit the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum.

Can’t attend, but want to donate a used shovel? Drop off your used shovel at one of these locations.

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