When Civic Garden Center staff and volunteers think of the first weekend of May, our automatic first association is THE Plant Sale. It has been happening for over 60 years now and it is the big event for many Cincinnati area gardeners. But since you, unlike us, may want to do something other than spend the entire weekend at THE Plant Sale, we thought we’d help you plan your weekend. There happen to be just a few other things going on in town.
Friday, May 3
So it’s not the weekend yet, but there is lots going on. Attend the Green Umbrella’s Sustainability Summit at Crossroads Church to learn about all of the region’s amazing environmental initiatives. The event takes place from 8:00 am to noon with a taste of local foods lunch from 12-1:00pm.
Stop by your favorite sports bar to watch the Reds play the Chicago Cubs at 2:20.
Go home, get spiffed up and come down to the Preview Party for THE Plant Sale at the Civic Garden Center. This is our signature event and a long standing tradition for gardeners and friends of gardeners. We know how to throw a party AND kick off the gardening season. You will be astounded by the variety and quantity of plants available for purchase this evening. The Silent Auction will be filled with items for everyone – not just gardeners. But for the real plant enthusiast, the Live Rare Plant Auction is a must! Listen for the Rare Plant Auction being announced at 7:30 and join the crowd bidding on these unusual specimens you are unlikely to find elsewhere.
Dinner by the bite will tempt your taste buds with morsels from local restaurants and purveyors. The price of admission ($40 in advance, $50 at the door) provides you with two drink tickets that you may use for beer, wine, or non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bars are at the ready for additional drinks. The CGC house band, Stoopid Rooster, will be playing standards, blues, and rock & roll while you enjoy spending time with friends on the patio or in the gardens.Valet parking is included. There is still time to register online or by calling 513.221.0981.
Saturday, May 4
Get up early and head down to THE Plant Sale. Our “doors” open at 9:00 am and we’ll be hopping until 3:00 pm with an amazing selection of plants, local vendors, used tools, books and gardening accessories, baked goods and so much more. Plants are organized into the following booths to help you find what you are looking for:
- Awesome Annuals
- Blooming Shrubs
- Climbers, Clematis & Roses
- Connoisseur’s Corner
- Donated Perennials
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Shade Perennials
- Sun Perennials
We’ve also got a great selection of vendors. This year you will find:
- Locally produced compost from Compost Cincy
- Soil test kits from Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District
- Handmade soaps & lotions from Mill Branch Soap
- Year round raised bed gardening products from One Small Garden
- Fair trade dry and other goods from Park + Vine
- Blown glass art for home and garden from Tom Robinson
- Delicate and dramatic jewelry from Simple Gifts Design
- Garden sculpture and containers from Stonescapes Garden Keepers
- Fresh picked spring veggies from Urban Greens
- Yummy lunch offerings on Saturday and Sunday from Cafe de Wheels
At 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, there will be bonsai demonstrations at the Connoisseurs Corner booth by Chris Daeger of B.C. Nursery.
After picking up your new plants, swing by downtown to take part in the pre-Flying Pig Marathon festivities. Yeatman’s Cove will be the site of family fun festivals, including races for kids of all ages. There is even a Diaper Dash for crawlers!
Then head up 75 to Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale for their Savor the Season event from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The farm will be open with many different types of cooking demonstrations, from famous local chefs to culinary students. You can taste delicious foods while seeing how their are grown.
For a night on the town, check out the music, food and culture at the Cincy Cinco Latin Festival (Sunday is Cinco de Mayo after all) on Fountain Square. Festivities will be taking place Saturday noon-11:00 pm and Sunday noon-7:00 pm.
Sunday, May 5
Hop out of bed at the crack of dawn to cheer on the runners in the Flying Pig Marathon. The race starts at 6:30 am on Mehring Way downtown. The Christian Moerlein Lager House will even be open for a “Viewing Breakfast.”
If you haven’t made it to THE Plant Sale yet, this is your final chance. We’ll be open until 3:00 pm today with a great selection of plants and gardening experts to help you pick the right ones for your site. Grab lunch from Cafe de Wheels while you shop or snacks from our bake sale.
Head back downtown for the Flying Pig after party at Yeatman’s Cove or more dancing and eating at the Cincy Cinco Latin Festival.
You may need to take Monday off to recover from the weekend!
– Ryan Mooney-Bullock will be spending her weekend with amazing colleagues and 200 volunteers to make this year’s Plant Sale the best one yet.