Butterfly Festival, plant sale online

Melanie StatenAnderson, Our Town Outdoors

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society’s sixth annual Butterfly Festival will be available online beginning Saturday, Sept. 18. This year’s festival will again be virtual with outstanding lectures and special video programs for children. New this year, we will also have a special butterfly art installation created by local community members on display at the UT Arboretum Visitor Center through the first week of October and also available here.


Co-sponsored by the UT Institute of Agriculture, this event has become one of the most popular events annually with over 2,000 people attending in 2019. Due to the uncertain Covid-19 precautions, this year’s festival has been filmed in advance to be presented online. This will be a different festival than in the past as there are no on-site presentations, but we are excited to bring the public some great online options.

The Arboretum Society’s annual Fall Plant Sale will be running from Sep. 25 – Oct. 8. The pickup date is Friday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge. Our plant sales are some of our biggest fundraisers of the year and help support the arboretum’s community education, trail improvements such as our Nature Book Trail, and children’s programs.

For two weeks, you can browse the selections of perennials, trees, and shrubs available from our vendors Tennessee Naturescapes, Riverdale Nursery, East Fork Nursery, and Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm. These vendors offer a wonderful selection of plants including unique conifers, both evergreen and native azaleas, hydrangeas, native shrubs, pollinator plants, and a wide variety of herbs to name just a few!  Quantities are limited so we suggest early shopping!  Beginning September 25, log on here to shop and make payment. The catalog will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept 25, and close at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8. All payments must be made by credit card online in advance. No sales on the pickup day are possible.

On the check-out page you will be given the option to choose a pickup time on Friday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. There are no Saturday pickups at the Fall Plant Sale.  This is a no-contact pickup system. When you arrive at your scheduled time, you will come to designated pickup spots and your order will be loaded into your car.

To learn more about the Arboretum Society, go to here. For more information on the plant sale, contact mcampani@utk.edu.

Melanie Staten is a public relations consultant with her husband, Vince.

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