Chinese Bell flower

Get ready for Plantfest!, the annual sale of more than 5,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, ferns, fruits and so much more on Oct. 4-5.

The 31th anniversary of the fall plant sale celebrates three decades of collecting people and plants and bringing them together in the unique natural space that is the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, says arboretum Executive Director Peggy Coates.

Plants for sale at the arboreturm, 11855 Highland Road, run the gamut from native and traditional to eclectic and electric newcomers.

“To spice up the mix, plants are imported from a diversity of nurseries located in Alabama, Texas and Florida, as well as Louisiana,” Coates says. “Well over 5,000 plants will be assembled representing 600 different species, some making their debut at Hilltop this year.”

In honor of the late Marion Drummond, who served as Hilltop’s site director from 1992 to 2002 and continued to serve as a volunteer at the arboretum until passing away in 2013, Hilltop’s Hodge Podge volunteers will feature plants grown by Drummond in her garden. Many experts will be on hand to help with plant selections.

The Hilltop Gift Shop will be joined by specialty plant and craft vendors to offer all kinds of gardening items. There will be a tax and a membership incentive that adds up to 20 percent in savings on plants purchased during the two days of the sale. One week prior to the sale, check for a list of the plants being offered at the 2014 PlantFest!

The annual pre-sale Plantfest! Teaser, called Marion Drummond Remembered, will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, at the arboretum’s new education facility. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The event will feature a talk about Marion’s favorite plants for the home garden by horticultural experts Johnny Mayronne and Michael Hopping, and her daughter Laurie Drummond.

After the program, the speakers will lead a walk through more the plants that will already be set up for Plantfest! For more information, or to register for the teaser event, contact LSU Hilltop Arboretum at (225) 767-6916, visit or email