VanDusen Gardens Annual Plant Sale: Plantaholics R Us!

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Welcome back readers! It was a crazy weekend for the plantaholics in the Lower Mainland! Sunday was the much coveted VanDusen Gardens plant sale! A one stop shop for all you need to give your garden a boost for the season. Yours truly made it at 7am, bright and early to be the first person in line. Why so early you ask? Well, one glance of the picture below gives you just a hint of the long and winding line up that cascades through their parking lot and out onto the very busy hub of Oak street. Wouldn’t you want to be at the front?

By opening the line up reached onto Oak street!

There’s a real benefit to grabbing a coffee and hitting the line up early. Not only is there time to peruse the catalog, and get to know your line mates, but for me there’s some much needed alone time. Oh quiet solitude! While I’m chatting plants and popping timbits, the kids are at home. Loudly running and jumping around the house, making sure my husband doesn’t have a chance to sleep in! I love ya baby! 😉

A pre opening peek of the sale to scout out some treasures!

Last year I was second in line, this year I made it to the front! Once again the few who made it out so early got the privilege of wandering through the sale before it opened to the general public.

The Heather table looked stunning with the morning dew sparkling in the sun!

It’s peaceful on the VanDusen grounds first thing in the morning.  Birds were chirping, Boy Scouts busying themselves by packing up their tents, volunteers happily buzzing around the sale tables. You couldn’t help but feel energized!

A beautiful selection of Maples and all variety of trees.

Still, I wasn’t just there for the ambiance! While checking out the tables I staked out the most interesting plants on my list. I spotted the Acer Sango-kaku ‘Coral Bark Maple’ right away. There were only two. I was going to have to make a dash for it if I wanted to take one home!

The plants for this sale are chosen for their colour and appearance during this early spring season.

Behind a blaze of cheery blooms, I found baby Meconopsis grandis ‘Himalayan blue poppy’ on the Pot Luck table, ranging in price from $1-$4 each! Those plants are not only difficult to find, but are also quite pricey. For this cut rate deal, I was willing to try my hand at these often finicky perennials.

There was a lot that teased my inner gardener, as I wandered through the sale. I tried not to make direct eye contact with to many of the blooms, lest they all follow me home. Now that I knew what I was after, and where I could find it, It was time to get back to the line up. There was some waiting out the clock to be accomplished.

Pink fawn lily. A flower that teased me into submission!

Once the doors open the place was flooded with green thumbs eager for a deal!

Finally at ten am they opened the sale and thousands of local gardeners flew through the entrances. Carts banging behind us as we ran. I bee lined immediately for the maple, the poppies, and a couple fun Arisarum proboscideum ‘Mouse tails’ for the kids. From there I slowed down a bit. Taking the time to peruse the tables, and enjoy the air of excitement as gardeners of all ages found plants and bargains that lit up their faces.

It was difficult to spot a person without their arms loaded, or a cart piled high. Stacked to the hilt with greenery, all around people were sporting smiles of success!

I was impressed with what this man could carry. There were 2 trees in the green tote alone, plus a variety of other plants stuffed in!

It didn’t take me long to fill my cart. I quickly took it to the hold area, and wandered back through to take some more pictures of the madness.

Before I knew it my arms were full all over again. Volunteer Master Gardeners were politely suggesting I may need a tray. Sigh, they were right. I ended up going back to the hold area with two more trays of plants before I was finally finish shopping. My husband messaged me wondering when the delivery truck would be arriving home with my finds. Lol! He jokes, but he worries……..

My line mate on her way to pay for her finds!

I love the hold section! Without feeling like I needed to rush back to my cart, I enjoyed a delicious fire baked pizza on a grassy hill over looking the sale. What a day! We couldn’t have asked for better weather, or more interesting plants! If you didn’t make it down to VanDusen for this years plant sale, you might want to post it your calendar for next year. It is a day that should not be missed. Plus the garden is open to the public with no admission charge for the day! A great opportunity to get some inspiration for your own garden, or simply spend time in a beautiful place with the family!

So what did I bring home?

2 x Pink fawn lily (from Wildside nursurey)

3 x Fushia Maxima

1 x Solomon Seal

1 x Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

4 x Meconopsis grandis ‘Himalayan blue poppy’

1 x Alchemilla mollis ‘mouse tail’

1 x Hemerocallis ‘Eenie weenie’ yellow

1 x Lovage

1 x Tuscan blue rosemary

1 x Lemon scented thyme

1 x Golden oregano

1 x Cilantro

1 x Basil

2 x Allium shallots

1 x Chiquita tomato

1 x Sweet olive heirloom tomato

1 x Brandywine heirloom tomato

1 x Gold nugget

2 x Arisarum proboscideum ‘mouse tail’

1 x Rhodiola mosed

2 x Girard fuschia azalea

2 x Rosebud pink azalea

1 x Acer palmatum ‘sangu kaku’

*** You `can see why my husband though I might need a truck!***

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15 comments on “VanDusen Gardens Annual Plant Sale: Plantaholics R Us!

  1. Ruth on said:

    I dragged my family to the gardens since it was free entrance – it was amazingly peaceful, since everyone was at the sale. My toddler had a wonderful time running around the Fragrance Garden and the lawns.

    • Laura on said:

      It was such a pretty day for it! If I hadn’t bought so many plants I may have stayed longer myself! Glad you had a great day!

  2. Loree/danger garden on said:

    Someday (maybe next year?) I’ll be there. 7am…no problem! If I make the drive up from Portland I can certainly be there bright and early. Fight you for first place next year!

  3. Garden Lily on said:

    Wasn’t the weather gorgeous also? Nice list, I’m glad you also left me a few items (I fell for the pink fawn lily also!), since I showed up about 1PM. I was so excited to pick up a young Davidii Involucrata tree (OMG, I’m still pinching myself!!!) that I didn’t dare walk about the gardens, I just stayed in the plant sale area to guard my lucky find and search for more.

  4. Kristin on said:

    Wow, great finds! You will be a busy lady getting all those in the ground. Such interesting tomato selections! Sounds like a fun day. I know for me it’s all about the hunt.

  5. Carrie on said:

    I recognized NONE of those plants. Except the mouse tails. Cause Mike bought a couple from some plant sale 🙂

  6. Northern Shade on said:

    Congrats on getting first in line. You got a good selection, considering that long line of competition behind you. It looks like fun, and makes me wish that I lived on the lower mainland.

    I really like solomon’s seal for a shady area. The long arching stems and rows of suspended flowers are really charming, while Brunnera is one of my favourites.

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