Crafters and nature lovers shop Leach Bazaar

Think Leach Botanical Garden is a great place only in the summertime? See why folks mark their calendars so they don’t miss this annual event ..

Kate and Liz Sullivan choose cuttings and greens they say will make great centerpieces and wreaths.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
By December 7 and 8, the Johnson Creek floods had subsided, and a steady stream of crafters and nature lovers were making their way to Leach Botanical Gardens in outer East Portland.

Karen Young, Executive Director of Leach Botanical Garden, told us, “We’re raising funds for the garden at our Annual Holiday Bazaar. It’s being going on for more than two decades.”

Guests selected cuttings, clippings, fresh greens, fir, noble fir, variegated holly, and juniper, from which to make holiday crafts and decorations.

“They buy the greens to make their own decorations,” Young added. “We also offer great baked goods, like cookies and breads, for sale. It’s a special time to come to the garden this time of year. Everyone is festive; we all enjoy a cup of our tasty mulled hot cider.”

In the patio area, we met visitors from the Mt. Tabor neighborhood – Kate and Liz Sullivan.

“We came a couple of years ago,” Liz said, “and we remembered to come again this year. We’ll be making centerpieces and wreaths. It’s nice, instead of buying it in the store.”

Garden Steward Scotty Fairchild shows off holly with berries – one of the many items sold at the Holiday Bazaar.

“Community-building is a best part about this event,” commented Scotty Fairchild, Garden Steward. “People come here for a specific purpose, the Holiday Bazaar, then find out there are lots of things going on here at the garden, even during the winter months. Then, they come back for another visit!”

Come for a visit; admission is free. Leach Botanical Garden, Portland’s only public botanical garden, is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue (just south of Foster Road). For further information call Nancy at (503) 823-1671.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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