LSU Hilltop Arboretum to Host PlantFest Oct. 5-6, Special Pre-Sale Teaser Event Sept. 28
BATON ROUGE – More than 5,000 plants representing 600 different species will be available for purchase when the LSU Hilltop Arboretum holds its 30th annual PlantFest event on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 6, from noon to 4 p.m. at the arboretum, located at 11855 Highland Road.
This year’s edition of the arboretum’s annual fall plant sale celebrates three decades of masterfully collecting people and plants and bringing them together in the unique natural space that is Emory Smith’s Hilltop. Proceeds from the event go toward supporting ongoing efforts to develop the site and the educational programs and projects of the arboretum.
The horticultural promenade will be led by the delightfully eclectic cadre of volunteers who oversee Hilltop’s on-site nursery and are affectionately known as “Hodge-Podge.” Their combined understanding and appreciation of Hilltop and all plants in general – native plants, in particular – is laced with a generous dollop of funk, a pinch of pluck and a flair for the unique. All this and more is folded with finesse into the impressive diversity of plant materials featured at the sale – trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, ferns, fruits, gingers, camellias, edibles, ornamental grasses and more. A full listing of the plant materials offered at the sale will be posted on the Hilltop Arboretum website, www.lsu.edu/hilltop, one week prior to the event.
The singular Hodge-Podge Collection features prized pass-alongs, as well as choice plants grown from cuttings donated by Friends of Hilltop and fans that are coddled throughout the year in anticipation of the fall sale. Additional plants are also imported from 15 diverse nurseries located in Alabama, Texas, Florida and South Carolina, as well as Louisiana.
In addition, the Hilltop Gift Shop will feature specialty plant and craft vendors offering books, garden tools, ironwork, woodcraft and more the needs of gardeners and their gardens.
Hilltop accepts cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard for purchases, and also offers both a tax and membership incentive. For the two days of the sale, the arboretum offers a special fundraiser exemption from city and state tax, offered to qualifying non-profit organizations. This will apply to plant purchases only. Current Friends of Hilltop members get an additional 10-percent discount on Hilltop plants purchased during the two days of the sale.
Prior to the PlantFest weekend, the arboretum will host a special presentation by Dan Gill, associate professor in consumer horticulture with the LSU AgCenter, who will discuss a few of his favorite plant picks from the PlantFest! 2013 plant litter. The program will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1-4 p.m. in the arboretum’s Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium, with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. An hour-long “walkabout” will follow in the Hodge Podge Nursery. Ticket are $10 for Friends of Hilltop members and $15 for non-members.
For all who want to “know it and grow it,” Gill is the gardener’s go-to guru. He is spokesperson for the LSU AgCenter’s statewide educational effort in home horticulture, “Get It Growing.” Gardeners throughout Louisiana read and relish his columns in local newspapers, watch his gardening segments on local TV, listen to him on local radio and access content on the Internet. He is author of “Month-by-Month Gardening in Louisiana” and co-author of the Louisiana Gardener’s Guide, Month-by-Month Gardening in Texas and Texas Gardener’s Resource. His “Only in Louisiana” column appears monthly in the Louisiana Gardener Magazine and his articles have also appeared nationally in Fine Gardening Magazine.
During the teaser event, only one of each of the plants presented will be eligible for purchase. The arboretum will host a drawing to determine who gets to purchase which plant. Only teaser event registrants may participate in the sale, and they may put their name in for up to six plant hats. Winners must be present for the opportunity to purchase.
Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations