Saturday: Runway show and auction to benefit Allen Centennial Gardens

PoshPlantsPosh Plants, a live auction and runway show of unexpected and unique garden items, will benefit Allen Centennial Gardens on Saturday, June 14.

The event will offer special plants and garden accessories not readily available in local garden centers, nurseries or businesses. The event will be held at Allen Centennial Gardens, 620 Babcock Drive, on the UW-Madison campus Saturday, June 14, from 5-8:30 p.m.

Staged throughout the gardens, the event will include food and drink, live and silent auctions, and strolls through the inviting garden “rooms” at Allen Centennial Gardens: French, English, Italian, rock, conifer, woodland and many more.

Posh Plants is the first major fundraising initiative of the new Friends of Allen Centennial Gardens

An notable twist will be the “runway show” of plants and other garden items—modeled on fashion shows—preceding the live auction.

The array of garden items being offered, donated by nurseries, breeders and others in the industry, will include unusual trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals, container plantings, garden accessories and art, tools and other items.

Offerings represent the Midwest and other areas of the country and include merchandise from well-known companies such as Munchkin Nursery, Walters Gardens, Chalet Nursery, Prairie Nursery, Song Sparrow Perennial Farm, Johnson’s Nursery, Intrinsic Perennials, Rich’s Fox Willow Pines, and Peace Tree Farms.

Garden accessories include custom-made potting benches, obelisks and the Dan Benarcik garden chair, as well as tools by Fiskars, Dramm and Cobrahead. There will be a number of ready-made exuberant containers and botanical illustrations, scarves and stained glass.

“I’m really thrilled,” says Ed Lyon, director of Allen Centennial Gardens. “I’ve been lucky enough to attend the rare plant auction and gala in Philadelphia, and have long wanted to offer something similar but on the right scale for Madison. It’s especially appropriate that our first POSH PLANTS, which we hope will become an annual event, coincides with our 25th anniversary. It’s going to be a really fun and unique event for our community.”

Posh Plants is the first major fundraising initiative of the newly formed Friends of Allen Centennial Gardens. The group began last year with the goal of increasing support to the gardens, which, although located on the UW-Madison campus, is otherwise self-funded.

Open free to the public year-round, Allen Centennial Gardens is currently staffed with one full-time professional, four summer interns and volunteers. Increased funding will allow the gardens to expand educational and event offerings.

Other Friends initiatives include a membership program begun last year, with annual benefits such as discounts on publications and at local garden centers, reciprocal admissions to gardens throughout the country, winter horticultural classes, and advance ticketing to POSH PLANTS.

Tickets, which cost $40, each include entrance, bidding fee and an hors d’oeuvres and dessert buffet. A cash bar will be available. Admission is by advance reservation only, and tickets are limited.

To purchase tickets and preview auction items, visit:

For more information about Allen Centennial Gardens, visit: