‘Gardeners’ paradise’ found at Leach Garden sale

Find out why so many folks attend this annual ‘green’ event every year …

Plants, trees, flowers – and more plants! It’s all at the Leach Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
People with “green thumbs” were pulling their cars, trucks, and SUVs into the parking lot of Floyd Light Middle School on April 19 all day long, to take advantage of what was perhaps the largest annual live plant sale in outer East Portland.

“Yes, it’s again time for the Leach Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale,” grinned Leach Botanical Garden event volunteer Chair Katie Goodwin, who is with Leach Garden Friends.

Leach Garden Friends volunteer Dale Shetler, Thomas Johnson of Sebright Gardens in Salem, and sale organizer Katie Goodwin, pause to talk at this year’s plant sale.

“Buyers can choose from among a great selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and northwest native plants here,” Goodwin told East Portland News. “This is one of the biggest fund-raising events we hold annually to raise funds to support the garden and its activities and staff.”

A dozen specialty nurseries brought in perennial plants for sale. In addition, Leach Garden Friends also brought many offerings from the “Leach Collection” botanicals.

Clearly, Judy Marriott is happy with the plants she’s found at this year’s sale.

While Portland Parks & Recreation owns the garden and provides some support for the physical plant, Goodwin said their nonprofit organization does the fundraising to support staff and other special programs in the garden.

“Today we have about 70 volunteers to help out from our organization, plus some from the Parks Bureau and some from the Lions Club,” Goodwin reported. “And we’ve recruited several friends to help out too.”

In addition to the raising of funds, Goodwin said the plant sale introduces new people to Leach Botanical Garden, and helps them catch up with old friends who come to see them year after year. “It’s a good time, for many reasons!”

Denise Madden says she’s happy with the plants she’s found, as volunteer Kathi Dausz rings up her purchase.

Leach Garden Children’s Nature Fair returns May 17
Plan now to take the family, as this great springtime tradition continues on May 17, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

This year’s theme, “Wild Critters”, will include animal visitors from the Oregon Zoo and Audubon Society, as well as activities, booths, arts/crafts about animals, paper making, a scavenger hunt, Ladybug Walks, music, and 25-cent ice cream.

Be sure to see our favorite: the Slug Races. It’s FREE to participate, and donations are gratefully accepted.

It’s a good time to become a member of Leach Garden Friends while you’re there. You’ll find it in their “Upper Meadow” of the Garden, off SE 122nd and Claybourne Street (just south of SE Foster Road). For more information call 503-823-1671, or see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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