The 27th annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale is this Weekend at the Arboretum and Franciscan Monastery Plant & Herb Sale in Brookland this Weekend

by Prince Of Petworth April 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm 8 Comments

Photo courtesy of fonagardener

From an email:

“The 27th annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale, hosted by Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA), has moved to a new central location in the U.S. National Arboretum, which is celebrating its 90th year.

This year’s event, April 28-29, has been relocated and will now be outside the Administration Building and Visitor Center, adjacent to the National Capitol Columns, Azalea Collection and the Grove of State Trees. Attendees will see more of the Arboretum grounds as they shop for traditional and rare plants from nurseries around the world, including new offerings like Gentiana acaulis hybrids, Beesia deltophylla, Phygelius cultivars and eight different types of Cypripedium orchids.


The Garden Fair and Plant Sale is a weekend designed for gardeners of all levels in the D.C. area searching for their perfect plant, herbs from the Potomac Unit of the National Herb Society or horticulture guidance from expert horticulturists. The 2017 Garden Fair and Plant Sale will also feature food and drink vendors, a performance by the Washington Revels, and a strawberry potting activity for children.”

spring sale 2017

“Buy local, monastery-grown herbs and vegetables, take a tour of the historic Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land gardens and enjoy food and craft vendors at the annual Franciscan Monastery Plant and Herb Sale:

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 2017, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land
1400 Quincy St. NE, Washington, DC 20017

Sponsored by the all-volunteer Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild and held in the monastery’s century-old gardens, the sale features herbs, flowers, roses, plants and shrubs, many of them grown in the monastery’s greenhouse. The monastery-grown plants include lavender, basil, rosemary, kale, carrots, lettuce and lots more.

The sale benefits the preservation and care of the gardens, which were designed by Franciscan friars over 100 years ago, as well as newer initiatives of the Garden Guild, including its vegetable donation program.

Since 2014, the Garden Guild, in partnership with parishes, universities and other non-profits, has harvested and donated over 13,000 pounds of food grown at the Franciscan Monastery for area residents in need of healthy food.”

  • hungeegirl

    I’ve never been to either one of these and am a new homeowner. Is the one at the arboretum pretty big? I want to be able to buy a substantial bush or two and want to know if this is like Merrifield, Fragers, or something in between. Anyone?

    • The one at the arboretum is very big. Lots of very good stuff but it’s also very busy so get there VERY early for the best selection. (FONA members get to go in early and that’s when the really rare and unusual stuff gets snapped up.)

  • MadMax

    Big for DC, I guess, but smaller selection than you’ll find at either Home Depot or Lowe’s in DC. Way smaller than Merrifield.

    • AnonV2

      Smaller in raw volume of plants available, but way bigger in variety and interest for gardeners than HD or Lowes Especially at the FONA event. I particularly like the selection of herbs at the monastery sale, but you have to be there the morning of the first day or everything is picked through. They also have a wide selection of native ground cover if you are looking to establish some new beds this year.

    • Easyenough

      I disagree. If you want 60 African violets for a month, HD is your spot. If you want a local flowering perennial or self seeding grass, or something rare, the arboretum is your spot.

      • MadMax

        Do you go to HD in the spring when all of the new stuff is out, or randomly throughout the year? I was just there this past weekend and the selection was far greater than anything I’ve ever seen at the arboretum sale (and I go to that and the Monastery sale almost every year). The arboretum may have some unique things that you won’t find at HD/Lowe’s, but the same is true of the reverse.

  • ErikWDC

    I’m looking forward to checking these out — thanks for posting this!

    I’ll also put in a plug for Behnke’s (http://behnkes.com/) over Lowes or HD. It’s a little out of the way (past the Ikea in Beltsville), but they have a huge selection of plants and gardening supplies (albeit a bit more expensive than Lowes and HD). When we planted natives in our yard last year we bought from and they also provided great advice.

  • A

    Anyone know how the prices are at the FONA event?


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