Plant Donations Nursery
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April to October
The Plant Donations Nursery sells plants donated to the Arboretum Foundation by Foundation members and area gardeners. The volunteer-operated nursery features an excellent selection of popular and unusual plants at great values.
Location: Near the Graham Visitors Center parking lot, just south of the greenhouses.
For information on how to donate plants, seasonal offerings, nursery history, and more, click here.
Plant Donations Nursery volunteers work rain or shine beginning on the first Wednesday of March and running until the end of October. The final work day in October varies from year to year.
Position Description: All of the work is done outdoors. It involves some light lifting, stooping and bending, and a lot of standing when working at the potting tables. Carts and wheelbarrows are used to move plants and transport soil.
Volunteers often work in pairs or as a group. New volunteers always have mentors nearby. Tasks are noted down at the beginning of the day, and volunteers choose which ones they want to do and work at their own pace.
Working with customers is an important and shared task. A friendly smile and an understanding of the nursery layout is all you need to begin with. Some customers browse first and chat as they’re leaving. Others have specific questions that may require the participation of several volunteers in order to provide the answers or to choose the right plants.
A large collection of reference books is available to aid in the identification of plants and the preparation of label request information.
Equipment Provided: Aprons, gloves, and tools.
Recommendations: Sturdy footwear is advised, and volunteers must provide their own rain gear.
Exception-Labelling/Database: The job description for our labeler differs from that of a standard volunteer position. This individual works with our label database, coming in on a weekly basis to print labels for newly donated or potted plants. On a rare occasion, this volunteer is tasked with database maintenance (adding, correcting, or deleting entries).
Breaks: Unscheduled, taken as needed.
Lunch: An hour lunch is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Volunteers provide their own food and beverage. The large work/picnic table in the nursery can seat up to 16 volunteers, and more benches can be pulled up as needed. This is the volunteers’ social hour, when they share news about trips, books, nurseries and plants, and more.
- Arboretum Foundation membership is required
- Volunteers should plan to attend on a regular basis, but absences for planned trips, guests, etc. are accommodated.
- A willingness to do whatever needs to be done is important, but no previous gardening experience is necessary.
To volunteer, fill out our online registration form. For more information about the Plant Donations Nursery or about volunteering at the Arboretum, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-325-4510.