Ambler horticulture society holds annual plant sale

Temple Ambler’s annual Campus Plant Sale, held by the horticulture honors society, will run later this month.

The plant sale will include plants like perennials, annuals, woodies, herbs, veggies and hanging baskets. | COURTESY Anne Brennan
The plant sale will include plants like perennials, annuals, woodies, herbs, veggies and hanging baskets. | COURTESY Anne Brennan

Those who are looking to bring a little bit of spring inside this semester can attend Temple Ambler’s annual Campus Plant Sale.

Ambler’s green-thumbed horticulture honor society, Pi Alpha Xi, will sell a variety of plants at the annual Spring Plant Sale, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 25. Proceeds will benefit PAX, the Ambler Arboretum and student internships.

The Spring Plant Sale dates back to 1949, horticulture faculty member Dr. Sasha Eisenman said, when the property that is now Temple Ambler belonged to the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women.

“Students would sell plants, produce, fruit, honey and other farm products throughout the year at an annual harvest fair,” Eisenman said.

This year, the plant sale will include plants like perennials, annuals, woodies, herbs, veggies and hanging baskets. Students from PAX are in charge of the plants.

“We grew the herbs and veggies ourselves that started from seeds, and some of the indoor plants we have we grew those from vegetative cuttings from our greenhouse, and some of our woody plants and perennials we received from local native nurseries,” said Wiley Kollar, a junior horticulture major. “If you’re looking for something for Mother’s Day, you might find something nice.”

Horticulture student Cindy Ahern said she enjoys working the plant sale.

“It is kind of like being a kid in a candy shop,” Ahern said. “During the sale, I love seeing the camaraderie among students, professors, and customers including alumni and neighbors in the community.”

Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted at the plant sale. PAX members are also involved in a wide range of community activities, Kollar said.

“We deal with community involvement like local tree planting, we volunteer with orchards, and we participate in EarthFest” Kollar said.

EarthFest is an outdoor educational event that the Center for Sustainable Communities holds annually. This year, EarthFest will be held on April 24.

“At EarthFest, different environmental groups set up stands and high school students show their senior projects, and we have displays to show children how sustainability works and to open their mind to the environment,” Kollar said.

 The plant sale will also benefit the the Ambler Arboretum, located on the campus.

“The Arboretum of Temple University is a historic public garden, and its mission is to serve as a living laboratory for students to learn about plants and the integral relationship between people and the environment,” Eisenman said. “It is providing this knowledge and these experiences that make arboreta and botanical gardens so important to both the local and global community.”

Kollar said he thinks of the arboretum as a “hidden gem” and believes more students should visit.

“To me, my acre of diamonds is Ambler,” Kollar said. “It’s enjoyable if you want to escape.”

The arboretum features a variety of garden habitats.

“It features a woodland, formal native, perennial and winter gardens, food crop gardens, healing gardens and my favorite – a sustainable wetland garden,” Eisenman said. “Professional staff manage the greenhouse and gardens with the help of student employees and volunteers, and the curriculum includes hands-on planting and experiments.”

Ahern said she enjoys seeing support for PAX and the arboretum.

“Horticulture is the window to the world – without plants, life is not sustainable,” Ahern said. “[Horticulture] offers endless possibilities to create habitats that support a vast diversity of species.”

Nina Depaz can be reached at

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