Plant Sale

Making a purchase at the plant saleFriday, May 11, 2012 – Sunday, May 13, 2012
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Early Bird Special: NBG Members only 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Our annual Spring Plant Sale has long been known throughout the region as one of the best places to pick up unusual plants at bargain prices. You’ll find a wide variety of plants from the rare and unusual to proven winners for the Hampton Roads region. Find the perfect plant to create a special look for your yard.

List of Plants for Sale (revised 4/25)

Our Horticulture staff will be on hand to give expert advice and help to customers.

2012 Signature Plant – Antique Roses

China Rose (Rosa 'Old Blush')China Rose (Rosa ‘Old Blush’)

We are pleased to offer several cultivars of antique roses, the types our great-grandparents probably grew, as wonderful additions to a sunny shrub border. We offer large plants, cutting-grown from our collections in the Garden. All but the Lady Banks Rose are repeat blooming for months of old fashioned, fragrant flower form and color with disease resistant foliage. Their loose, almost casual shrub form easily integrates into existing shrub and perennial beds and borders. We offer the following roses:

  • White Lady Banks Rose (Rosa banksiae ‘alba’) – a large, thornless, fragrant white climber that blooms once a year.
  • Chestnut Rose (Rosa roxburghii) – a large double pink shrub rose with sporadic summer repeat bloom with burr-like buds and hips
  • ‘Old Blush’ – a semi-double pink China rose commonly known as Old Pink Monthly for its blooming prowess
  • ‘Ducher’ – a small 3-4’ double white China rose
  • ‘Marchesa Bocella’ – very compact pink Hybrid Perpetual, flat flower form, also called Jacques Cartier
  • ‘Caldwell Pink’ – a compact 3’ Polyantha rose with almost ever blooming double pink flowers
  • ‘Marie Pavie’ – this Polyantha rose features thornless stems that bear very fragrant, double white blooms with a pink blush. Low grower almost constantly in bloom.

Top Picks

Here are some of this year’s plants we think you will especially like.

Azalea ‘Koromo Shikibu’


Azalea ‘Vittata Fortunei’

Often called the spider azalea, five foot tall Rhododendronx ‘Koromo Shikibu’ carries unusual spider type purplish-pink strap petaled flowers in early to mid spring. Its hairy evergreen leaves turn a reddish color in the fall.The Sims azalea (Rhododendron simsii ‘Vitatta Fortunei’) is a popular repeat offering which was our first Signature Plant in 2009. Large plants can be seen in very early spring throughout shady places in the Garden with blooms of purple, white and white-streaked petals all on the same plant. Spider Azalea (Rhododendron x 'Koromo Shikibu')Sim's Azalea

Firecracker Vine

(Manettia cordifolia
‘John Elsley’)

This virtually unknown, easy vine emerges from the ground in late spring and climbs to 6-8 feet in a single season aided by very thin, wiry tendrils sporting equally small leaves. Beginning in late summer and reaching a crescendo in fall, the vine covers itself with tubular one inch scarlet flowers which are a favorite of hummingbirds. Firecracker Vine (Manettia cordifolia)

Small’s Beard Tongue

(Penstemon smallii)

Native to woodland edges in our southeastern states, Small’s penstemon blooms in late spring in sunny or partly shaded locations. It has spikes of light purple tubular flowers with white throats. Very drought tolerant once established, this is a good performer in area gardens and, if not dead-headed, will eventually reseed lightly to form a small colony. Small's Beard Tongue (Penstemon smallii)

Society Garlic

(Tulbaghia violacea)

Society garlic is a great front of the border addition to perennial gardens or anywhere you want season-long color. In bloom from late spring though mid-fall this clumping perennial carries foot long, grassy, upright garlic-scented leaves from a bulbous rhizome. The slender bloom stalks are topped with fragrant lilac-pink star shaped flowers that just keep on coming for a very long bloom season. Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

Henry Anise Shrub (Illicium henryi)

Florida Sunshine Anise Shrub (Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’)

The Chinese Henry anise is little known, but much loved by those gardeners who grow it, forming a dense, pyramidal evergreen shrub 10-15 feet in height. It seems to grow best in shade and forms blooms with pendulous short-petaled pink flowers in spring. The evergreen leaves are anise scented on this plant, but especially so in ‘Florida Sunshine’, a yellow leaved vigorous version of a southeastern native shrub. Discovered and named by nurseryman Tony Avent, Florida Sunshine is a veritable beacon in the partially shaded winter landscape. Florida Sunshine Anise Shrub (Illicium parviflorum 'Florida Sunshine')

Cardinal Flower

(Lobelia cardinalis)

This southeastern perennial is native to moist shaded stream banks and meadows. It has performed admirably in my garden, even self seeding where happy. The 1-3 feet tall spikes of red flowers open from bottom to top in mid to late summer and are a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. Be sure not to mulch over the winter rosette of leaves. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)


(Odontonema cuspidatum)

This subtropical plant, native to Central America, has proven itself as a returning perennial in our climate. Showy 3-4 feet tall spikes of red flowers top this grower in late summer to fall. Plant in sun to partially shaded, protected locations. Firespike

Red Buckeye

(Aesculus pavia)

Red Buckeye, a southeastern native small tree, is an early spring bloomer with tubular red flowers important to returning hummingbirds. Our seedlings are of blooming age and will grow slowly to create small open crowned trees in shade to part shade. Leaf drop by early fall is normal. Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Joanna Reed Catmint

(Nepeta ‘Joanna Reed’)

Catmints are great low maintenance substitutes for lavender, which is challenging to grow well here. This selection is low growing, vigorous and extremely floriferous, especially if cut back after the first flush of violet-blue flowers have finished. Gray-green leaves cover this drought tolerant mounding perennial all season long. This catmint was discovered by gardener Joanna Reed in her Pennsylvania garden. It received a five star “excellent” rating in a Chicago Botanic Garden evaluation of catmints. Catmint (Nepeta 'Joanna  Reed') - photo courtesy of North Creek Nurseries

The Spring Plant Sale is a fundraiser for the Garden and Education Fund.