Leach Botanical Garden hosts springtime events

Take a look at what you missed, if you didn’t get to their Annual Garden Sale or Children’s Nature Faire this year …

Hundreds of people shopped among thousands of plants at the annual Leach Garden Plant Sale at Floyd Light Middle School.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For as long as most outer East Portland gardeners can remember, a highlight of their year is the Annual Plant Sale hosted by Leach Botanical Garden at Floyd Light Middle School.

“We have a number of our own plants and starts here from Leach Botanical Garden,” noted their Executive Director, Karen Young, during the April 18 event. “We actually grow the plants we sell here in the garden. We also have 20 other vendors participating – it’s a great turnout.”

Leach Botanical Garden’s Executive Director, Karen Young, and its official gardener, Scott Hoelscher, pause for a moment at their tables, during the sale.

Benjamin and Evelyn get a ride around the event, courtesy of their mom, Lana Mindra.

“This show is a great way for people to learn about all different kinds of plants,” said Young. “There are a wide variety of plants here, but this is a wonderful opportunity to help people learn about native Northwest plants. They require so much less time and cost with watering, fertilizers, and pesticides.”

In addition to decorative plants, backyard farmers were snapping up tomato and other plant starts. “We have an incredible amount of edibles for sale, including herbs,” observed Young. “There is a growing interest for people to learn to grow their own food, and using fresh natural herbs and vegetables.”

Reynolds Learning Academy teacher Meredith Griffith shows off tomato starts with student Devin McDaniel, a junior at the academy.

Many gardeners snapped up tomato starts being sold by a class at Reynolds Learning Academy. Their sponsor and teacher, Meredith Griffith, told us, “We’re doing a little fundraiser for classroom field trips. At the same time, our students are gaining customer-service skills practice. We’re selling a couple varieties of tomato plants that we started and grew in the classroom.”

If you missed it – be sure to check our Community Calendar next year! It’s usually in April.

Leach Garden Children’s Nature Faire

Andrew and Jack Grayburn and Anna O’Brian watch, as Leach Botanical Garden volunteer and “Slugmaster” Ron Goodwin see which slugs are the quickest.

Although we had a little problem the Children’s Nature Faire at Leach Botanical Garden this year – we didn’t notice the signs – scores of families had no problem locating the event. It was held in “the meadow” above the main grounds.

All day long, on May 16, kids got to explore the garden, meet local environmental groups, and celebrate spring, with hands-on activities and crafts.

“It’s important for kids to learn about nature at an early age,” said the garden’s Executive Director, Karen Young, at this event. “We feel it’s important to get them connected with the environment when they’re young, so they’ll have an appreciation for it as they grow into adults.”

Just kiddn’around: This baby goat was mistaken for a dog by many, who passed by without stopping to get a better look!

Buy the way, the garden’s Honey Bee Tours and Lady Bug Tours continue into the summer. Be sure to check our Community Calendar for more information.

Leach Botanical Garden is open Tuesdays through Sundays; they’re located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue – a long, winding block south of SE Foster Road. For more information, call (503) 823-1671.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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