Fine weather brings shoppers to Leach Plant Sale

Find out how well the annual Leach Botanical Garden Plant Sale did — because of the premature summerlike weather. And, find out about their Children’s Fair, coming up this weekend …

In the opening hours of the annual plant sale, held in Hazelwood neighborhood, hundreds of shoppers rush in to pick out plants.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Volunteers were doing all they could to keep up with volume of customers who flooded the annual Leach Botanical Garden Plant Sale on April 16, held again at Floyd Light Middle School in outer East Portland.

“Having the nice weather this spring brought out people out in droves,” smiled Leach Garden Friends volunteer and event organizer Jim Berry.

Teresa Berry and her husband and plant sale organizer Jim Berry say they’re amazed and pleased by this year’s turnout of buyers.

“In our first hour we had about 200 sales!” Berry exclaimed. “Now, mid-morning, we’ve passed the number of shoppers we had during the entire event last year.”

They are fewer outside vendors this year, but they still had tables full of all kinds of plants, from the common to the exotic, Berry told East Portland News. “Vendors tell me that all of their plants are about a month early, too, because of the weather.  Even though we’re not the first plant sale of the season – like we were last year, we’re doing very well.”

This happy plant sale shopper, Stefan Herold, says this is his first time at the sale.

Patron April Miller has her purchase rung up by cashier Danyelle Ramsey and her daughter Emmy Ramsey, also a volunteer.

Because this is one of their major fundraisers of the year, Berry said every dollar raised counts. “While Portland Parks & Recreation ‘owns’ the garden, the Friends group funds most of the programming and much of the maintenance.”

About 60 volunteers worked before or during the sale to put on the event, he said. “People pitch in – because they enjoy plants, they help this fine community resource!  Leach Garden is a very good place to volunteer,” suggested Berry.

This fundraiser helps underwrite events – such as the upcoming Leach Botanical Garden Children’s Nature Fair.

May 14 Children’s Nature Fair
On Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. is the annual Leach Botanical Garden Children’s Nature Fair.

The theme of this fair, which runs today is “Pollinator Power!” Bring the family and enjoy learning all about Pacific Northwest pollinators such as bees, butterflies, beetles and more. You’ll find Audubon’s education birds, interactive booths, arts and craft activities, slug races, a scavenger hunt, nature walks, music – and even 25-cent ice cream cones.

Visit partner booths, including those of the Audubon Society of Portland, Zenger Farm, the Portland Parks & Recreation environmental education program, Friends of Outdoor School, Brookside Farms and Gardens, and Johnson Creek Watershed Council. This FREE event is great for kids of all ages. It’s sponsored by Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union.

Leach Botanical Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue, 97236. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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