Mother of all sales
Plant sale season is in full bloom and one of the big ones is this weekend at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand. The Friends School Plant Sale features more than 2,000 different kinds of plants across 2.5 acres, including herbs, perennials, vegetables, grasses, climbing plants, annuals, shrubs and trees and those hard-to-find rare specimens. At the Garden Fair, browse exhibits by local gardening organizations and shop for garden ornaments, trellises, planters and supplies. Workshops and demonstrations on Saturday cover everything from gardening for bees to worm composting.
Do your homework before hitting the sale by viewing the catalog and creating an online shopping list on the website. Wristbands will be distributed before the sale opens each day — so come early. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sun. The last day — Mother’s Day — plants are one-third off. Free admission and parking. More info at www.friendsschoolplantsale.com or call 651-621-8930.
National Public Gardens Day
Walk the grounds in search of signs of spring for free at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Friday. There’s no admission charge to celebrate National Public Gardens Day. Head over to the Shade Tree Exhibit at noon to help break the record of the “Largest Tree Hug.” Naturalist Jim Gilbert will sign his book “Minnesota Outdoor Wonders,” from 10 a.m. to noon. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. Call 952-443-1400.
For bonsai lovers
The Mother’s Day Bonsai Show is a chance to see privately owned diminutive specimens of bonsai, an ancient Japanese art form of meticulously pruned potted trees in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s new Ordway Gardens. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. and Sun., 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul. Free. For information, go to www.comozooconservatory.org or call 651-487-8200.