Plant Sales – Mark Your Calendars

I hate to be so Toronto-centric but there are a number of local and very good plant sales coming up that ya’ll should know about. They’re more bang for your buck, the experience is fun, and often times the haul is of better quality than your typical garden super centre.

FoodShare’s Plant Sale

When: Saturday, May 13th 10 am to 1 pm (plant sale); noon to 1 pm (Annual General Meeting) 1 to 2 pm (Lunch by the Field to Table Kitchen)
Where: FoodShare’s Field to Table Centre 200 Eastern Ave.
What: ORGANIC seedlings grown by FoodShare in their rooftop greenhouse.

Parkdale Horticultural Society Plant Sale
When: Saturday, May 13th 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Community Centre at the corner of Lansdowne and Seaforth
What: Annuals, herbs, perennials, bushes, etc starting at $1 and going up to about $10. You can also purchase tickets to their Garden Tour or praying mantis egg cases for your garden. They also have a second room of local vendors.

Swansea Horticultural Society Plant Sale

When:Saturday, May 13th 9 am to 1 pm
Where:Swansea Town Hall 95 Lavinia Avenue
What: No idea. I’ve never been to this one.

Note that all three events are happening on the same day. You may be able to hit them all with the right strategy in place. That said, I leave you with a few Plant Sale Tips young grasshopper:

  • Arrive on time – In fact, arrive BEFORE the start time. A gym or church basement filled with plants can clean out within an hour. Tardy people are left with chives, catnip, and orange daylilies if they’re lucky.
  • Do Not Hesitate – Hesitation is for losers. Choose now, decide later. You can always put something back, but you can’t get something that is gone.
  • Get Crazy – Follow the example of hoards of screaming mothers during the height of the Cabbage Patch Kid mania. I’m kidding. I just wanted to make that Cabbage Patch Kids comparison. Did I mention how some of us didn’t get one and how all the popular kids brought theirs to school the first day after the holidays and sat them on their desks and swung them on the swings at recess, and how some of us were completely left out from that right-of-passage because they didn’t have mothers willing to go all the way and do what it took to acquire that stupid, ugly doll? Until their understanding aunts stepped up to the plate and ordered one sight-unseen but it was the ugliest kind with the most bizarro name and how the whole ordeal haunts them to this day? Think of the children.
  • Bring a Cart – One flat is the most an average person can hold while still leaving one hand free to pick and choose plants. Get yourself a wagon or a cart and be hands free.
  • Bring an Assistant – Girlfriends, boyfriends, and siblings are easily guilted into this role. They can hold extra plants, a water bottle, and a towel with which to dab your sweaty forehead. You think I’m kidding.
  • Bring Enough Money – These events are cash only. Estimate the amount you will need and then double it. You don’t want to regret putting that $2 raspberry bush back.
  • Make a ListAnd then burn it because frankly there is no way to know what they will have and that list will be thrown out the window five seconds into the sale. These sales are about adaptability. Rise to the challenge. People who stick to rigid plans and lists tend to come out empty-handed.

Feel free to add your favourite, local up and coming plant sale to the comments.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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4 thoughts on “Plant Sales – Mark Your Calendars

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Wednesday, May 3 (9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
    Thursday, May 4 (9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon)

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