A swell of plants sales bulges our calendars over the next few weeks. And they're such fun, with a party atmosphere, vendors to chat with about the plants they're selling, and tempting offerings you might well not find anywhere else. Most of these sales contribute to a good cause and/or worthy organization.
It's possible, as many of us probably know all too well, to spend more than we ever intended, buying more plants than we have time or room to plant. So go armed with a list, don't drink too much coffee beforehand, and limit yourself to a special favorite few sales a year. Here are a few highlights, and a link to the Miller Library complete list of plants sales, kept updated by the staff.
The season kicks off with the Washington Park Arboretum's Early Bloomers Sale tomorrow, Saturday April 11, from 10 to 2. This is a sweet, reasonably sized sale filled with early blooming perennials like trilliums, pulmonaria and epimediums, as well as trees and shrubs. Early Bloomers gives you an excuse to go to the Arboretum (it's held outside the Visitors Center) and see the cherry trees in bloom.
The granddaddy of all plant sales is the Arboretum extravaganza known as FlorAbundance, a three-ring circus of a plant sale filled with a nearly overwhelming profusion of plants. This year will feature edibles, phormiums, salvias, and native plants...and just about any other plant you've ever heard of, and many you probably haven't. Get a good sleep the night before, arrive early, and expect to be sorely tempted. FlorAbundance is held at Building 30 at Warren G. Magnuson Park on Saturday April 25 & Sunday April 26. There's a preview party for members the night before (worth joining the Arboretum Foundation to attend). Call 325-4510 for tickets or see the Arboretum web page for details.
Two fabulous edible plant sales, filled with varieties selected for our climate, heirlooms, organic starts, and more different kinds of tomatoes than you ever knew existed, are held the first weekend in May. The Master Gardener sale and Tilth's Edible Plant Sale are the sales to stock up for your P-Patch, containers, kitchen garden, or urban farm.
The best selection of native plants anywhere, grown by the people who can tell you all about them, happens at the Bellevue Botanical Garden on May 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find the plant list on the Washington Native Plant Society web page, bring your own trays or boxes, and be prepared to be more thrilled by native plants than you ever thought possible.