It’s hard to avoid talking about the weather these days, especially as we have surpassed our average amount of rainfall for the month of April by about 8 inches! It has been nearly impossible to work in the garden – the weeds are moving in and getting comfortable in my front yard, the carrots I sowed a couple of weeks ago will likely need to be replanted, and at the Civic Garden Center we have barely begun to get the gardens in shape for the season. It’s given me lots of time in the office, though, to get ready for The Plant Sale – our largest annual fundraiser and most notable event.
A force of over 350 volunteers and staff members come together for a weekend of beautiful plants, food and fun, camaraderie with fellow gardeners and the launch of the gardening season at The Plant Sale. In its 51st year, this promises to be the best yet with all we have planned. Friday evening, May 6, is the Preview Party – a ticketed event which offers guests the first pick of plants, dinner by the bite, beer and wine, a silent auction and a live rare plant auction, and valet parking to make getting your incredible plant selections and auction wins home with you a breeze. Saturday and Sunday the sale is open to the public, but you’ll want to be early on Saturday morning for the best selection. Over the entire weekend guests can expect knowledgeable volunteers at each plant booth to help them pick out plants that will do well in their gardens, the largest selection of herbs and hostas in the city – plus, an excellent variety of uncommon perennials, annuals, shrubs and vegetables that are well suited to our area, vendors with garden related goods and a booth for sharpening your garden tools, and an “Ask the Expert” booth staffed by Master Gardeners to help you have the best garden on your block!
Saturday we’re offering a container gardening workshop at 11am, and Sunday you can bring your mom (or yourself if you are a mom) to receive a free garden gift (while they last) and enjoy a clay pot decorating activity with your kids or grandkids – there will be plenty of plants to fill the pot when they’re finished!
The best part of the sale is that it supports the programs of the Civic Garden Center: the Neighborhood Gardens and Youth Education outreach programs, the Green Learning Station, our horticultural resources – classes and workshops, the Hoffman Library and Horticulture Helpline, gardens and grounds development, and the myriad of ways we help people get growing. With our long, cold winter and now unusually wet spring, I think we all need a good dose of horticultural therapy, and The Plant Sale at the Civic Garden Center is the place to get your gardening season started – bring a wagon and an umbrella and I’ll see you there!
-Cara Hague, Horticulturist