Doing the Sale

What's New?

Minnesota Water Garden Society logo

Water Plants Improved

This year, we are partnering with the Minnesota Water Garden Society, who will be selling a much wider range of water plants (and bog plants, and even fish) outside, between the Garden Fair and the sale entrance (look for the water lily on the sale map).

Come talk to their knowledgeable volunteers about all things beautiful, damp, and growing. They’ll also be offering a free workshop on ­container water gardens, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the Garden Fair.

A full listing of the plants they’ll be selling can be found here. Payment will be made at their booth.

Layout Changes

The Herbs section is just inside the sale entrance, so we can all be greeted by the aroma of basil as we start shopping.

The Perennials section has returned to the far corner. Be sure to get back there; we’ve noticed over the years that plants in that part of the room are often overlooked.

Miniatures & Succulents have a new spot just to the left when you enter the sale, across the main aisle from Herbs.

The only other plants that have been moved are the peonies. Though they are herbaceous perennials and they’re still listed in that section, they’re also a bit like shrubs, so we thought, Why not try putting them outside? You’ll find them after the end of the Shrubs & Trees section, at the far end of the fenced-in area. See the map

New Plants

There are over 420 new plants at the sale: 

  • 75 annuals, including three new colors of the SuperCal hybrid petunias, which we highly recommend for garden performance. 
  • 13 clematis (out of 16 new climbers total).
  • 16 fruit tree varieties.
  • 15 herbs, including four new scented geraniums.
  • 19 miniatures, about a third of which are small-scale Under the Sea coleus. 
  • 11 native plants, almost all with an eye to how great they are for pollinators.
  • 112 perennials (15 daylilies, 11 hosta, eight iris, 20 lilies, 16 peonies).
  • 63 shrubs or trees (six azaleas, four cardinal bushes, eight hydrangeas, eight roses), plus three Korean spicebush (Viburnum carlesii) varieties that are hard to come by.
  • 41 unusual and rare plants, with more ­martagon lilies, hellebores, peonies, a number of interesting citrus trees, and several items from a new grower we found in Japan.
  • 58 vegetables (nine hot peppers, 10 new tomatoes). Last year’s experiment with selling seeds worked, except they were so popular we sold out too early. We have increased the quantities on just about everything.
Blue poppy flowers

The Blue Poppy Is Back

After several years of absence, we’ve brought back the blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) in Unusual & Rare Plants. This sought-after plant is not fully suited to growing in the Twin Cities because our weather is too hot in the summer. But we know that some of you are from up north, where it’s perfectly happy, so we’re ­giving it another try.

More Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners from Ramsey County will be outside in the Garden Fair until about 1:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, selling gardening gloves and answering your gardening questions.

Free Bus Rides to the Sale!

It’s not new this year, but for the second time we’re coordinating with Metro Transit to offer free trips to the sale, including the new A Line rapid transit bus on Snelling Avenue, right outside the main gate of the Minnesota State Fair. Download a free ticket for your round-trip bus ride here.

Website Improvement

When you use the Find Plants page, you can now view up to 120 photos at once. And when you add a plant to your list, you won’t lose your place in the photo gallery. (It’s hard to explain this, but check it out!)