Every year since 1986 the SFA Gardens has hosted a Plant Sale twice a year that has sold to hundreds of customers, who have turned out to enjoy the sale with its variety of plants.
The popularity of the sale grows with every year. It happens once in the spring and once in the fall. The plant sale helps raise funds to allow the workers to stay employed along with obtaining the necessary supplies and equipment needed to help maintain the beauty of the gardens. Customers are able to preview an extensive detailed list of plants that will be available for sale before they come out. The plant list is posted at the SFA Gardens website at a few weeks before the sale at www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu. There are a variety of plants that are available at the sale from flowers to trees.
Many people these days try to find ways to cut cost to save money. One of the ways people do this is by growing their own fruits and vegetables. The SFA Plant Sale is a great way to obtain these plants to help get the garden started. Dawn Stover, Research Associate at the SFA Mast Arboretum, said that more young people buy plants that bear fruits or vegetable for a more organic way to live. Every year the diversity of people that attend change, from retirees to young families.
Organizers of SFA Gardens plant sale have found ways to help keep things a little more organized so that people are not running over each other or the plants. Participants of the sale are told to line up along the sidewalk minutes before the plants are up for sale. The announcer counts down the last few seconds of time so the customers know that the sale has officially begun. They are then able to walk back out to the sale floor and grab the desired plants they want for purchase.
Cash, check, or credit cards are all acceptable forms of payment at the SFA Gardens plant sale. This allows the public to not feel restricted to one form of payment.
The SFA Gardens provides many different opportunities for the community to learn about the environment and the many plants that grow in them. They host a variety environmental education programs for children between the grades of kindergarten and twelfth grade. There are also monthly lecture series that have a different topic every month and various seminars to help further educate the community about the environment and the plants that grow in them.
The SFA Gardens is made up of four unique gardens: the Arboretum, Azalea Gardens, The Pineywoods Native Plant Center, and the Gayla Mize Garden. The SFA Mast Arboretum runs along side La Nana creek. The Arboretum dates back to 1985 when it was established on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus as the first garden on campus. It started out as a class project for Dr. Creech. This garden has expanded to add three additional gardens that all contribute to their own unique individual qualities of the gardens. The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Gardens is designed to beautify the eastern entrance of the campus. The Azalea Gardens are full of a variety of flowers from Rhododendron to Hydrangea. Pineywoods Native Plant Center is home to a diverse group of plants that only grow in the east Texas area. The native plants that grow here are those that are not typically found in other areas of Texas. Gayla Mize Garden opened in 2011; the number of plants that occupy the garden is still growing. Each of the gardens have trails that snake through to allow guest to admire all the different variety of plants that they have to offer.
For more information about the SFA Plant Sale or lectures you can contact the SFA Gardens at firstname.lastname@example.org.