May 8, 2014 – Des Moines, IA
DES MOINES, Iowa – Rare plants combine with hard-working volunteers and staff, guest speakers and more to present the inaugural Spring Garden Festival. A four-day event, May 8-11 at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, the event is designed to raise money for the Botanical Garden and inspire and invigorate adventurous gardening in Des Moines.
“There’s so many fun aspects to this Festival, you could come for several hours each day and still not see everything,” said Deb Wiley, co-chair of the Festival planning committee.
The centerpiece of the Festival is a plant sale offering unique plants — the kind you won’t find on the shelves at local garden centers — and even plants grown at the Garden. Shoppers will wander through tents and pergolas of growing merchandise. The Festival is laid out in four sections. Twelve varieties of organically-grown heirloom tomatoes, okra and herbs are on display in the edible/drinkable tent. The shade gardening tent boasts hostas and many deer-resistant, shade-friendly options. The four-season gardening area includes an array of plants to enjoy color and foliage interest all year long. The urban garden section will highlight plants that will thrive in containers, window boxes or gutter gardens for shoppers without much planting room.
Botanical Garden horticulturist Tyler Johnson said, “Whether you grow veggies and herbs in a giant raised bed or have potted containers of ornamental plants hanging off your balcony, we’ll have plants for you. We’ve really tried to embrace every type of gardener and offer something that will delight them.”
Johnson has managed the ordering and inventory of the Festival plants, more than 430 different varieties, and is part of the Festival planning committee of 22 — a mix of volunteers and staff — which began planning in August 2013.
Potted plants, hanging baskets, shrubs and trees will be available. Prices range from a Cherokee Purple tomato for $3.95 to a Cypripedium orchid for $79.95 and Botanical Garden members save 10% off Festival plant purchases.
In addition to the sale, two key speakers will present on Saturday — Author Joseph Tychonievich and Celebrity Designer Eddie Ross — and local experts will speak every thirty minutes of the festival.
The Saturday morning lecture requires a ticket purchase; the rest of the Festival is open to all with no charge for admission.
“We invite gardeners of all ages to join us to learn, browse, shop and network with others about the wonderful world of growing,” Wiley said.
For more info, visit www.dmbotanicalgarden.com/SpringFestival.
The four-day festival centers around the plant sale, however there are also very unique events nestled within the event.
Members-only preview sale
Thursday, May 8, 5-6:30 p.m. Botanical Garden members get first dibs on plants for sale.(Members get 10% off all Festival purchases AND you can sign up for a membership on site.)
Early bird lecture and book signing by Joseph Tychonievich
Saturday, May 10, 8:30-10 a.m. Rising star plantsman Joseph Tychonievich will present “Plant pickup artist: finding and seducing great, unusual plants” and then will be available to answer questions and sign his book. This early bird opportunity includes early access to the plant sale before the Saturday crowd. Tickets are $5 to members ($10 to non-members) and limited to the first 100 purchasers; they may be purchased at www.dmbotanicalgarden.com/SpringFestival or at the door.
Eddie Ross demonstration
Saturday, May 10, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Lifestyle and design expert from New York, Eddie Ross, east coast editor of “Better Homes and Gardens,” will offer tips and tricks for arranging beautiful bouquets. He’ll demonstrate the skill and take questions.
Pallet pulpit series
Friday, May 9, 10:30 a.m. – Sunday, May 11, 2 p.m. Every 30 minutes, one of three pulpits on the Festival grounds will offer a presentation by an expert. Whether you’re interested in hearing about herbs, hostas, clematis or flower arranging, you’ll have a chance to hear a free presentation from an expert green thumb.
On January 1, 2013 the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden launched a new beginning. After years of planning, a bold vision, generous community support and a new staff, the Botanical Garden assumed operatorship of a 34-year old conservatory and 14 acres of land bordering the Des Moines River. Armed with a mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants, we are a garden now. The Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) privately governed, not-for-profit institution with ten years of operating support at $645,000 per year from the City of Des Moines, Des Moines Water Works and Bravo Greater Des Moines. In addition, the Phase II Endowment goal will grow the total endowment to $3.6 million.