You can explore Tucson Botanical Gardens’ Barrio Garden, seen above, for free at Saturday’s Plant Geek Festival and Sale. More than one dozen nurseries and growers will be on-site.

Tucson Botanical Gardens will be a one-stop shop for the green thumbs among us this Saturday, September 21.

More than a dozen local nurseries and growers, including Harlow Gardens, EcoGro, Planta Del Sol and Starr Nursery, will be on-site, selling their living inventory as part of the garden’s inaugural Plant Geek Festival + Sale.

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is being held as kind of a welcome party for the fall season, says Robert Elias, spokesman for Tucson Botanical.

“It is a great time of year for people to start thinking about their gardening,” Elias said. “We wanted to bring all of the resources that they might need to our central location in Tucson.”

There will be food trucks, the gardens’ Café Botanica will be open for business and a DJ will be spinning tunes.

In addition to vendors, Tucson Botanical has also recruited several community organizations to help with any plant-related questions attendees might have.

Among the participants will be the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum, the Rare Fruit Growers of Tucson and the Tucson Bonsai Society.

“People want to share what they know,” Elias said.

If that doesn’t pique your interest, here’s the kicker: Admission to the festival and the garden grounds will be free all day. General admission to visit the garden is usually $15.

Elias said Tucson Botanical is expecting an estimated 1,500 people for the this weekend’s event.

His pro-tip: Bring cash if you are looking to buy.

“Most nurseries do take credit cards, but some do not,” he said.

Visit for more information.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at or 573-4679.


Gerald received his journalism degree from the University of Maryland. He has been with the Star for 16 years and has covered a variety of beats. Currently, he divides his time between the presentation desk and as a member of the digital team.