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?
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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……..
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!***