Leach Plant Sale called ‘best ever’

See the greenery at this year’s Leach Botanical Garden Plant Sale. And learn about their Children’s Nature Fair, coming on May 18, sadly sans ‘Slug Races’

From all over the greater Portland area, plant lovers flock to the Hazelwood neighborhood to shop the annual Leach Garden Plant Sale.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Even longtime volunteers of Leach Garden Friends (LGF), the nonprofit organization that supports Leach Botanical Garden and its activities, aren’t sure just how long they’ve been holding the yearly Spring Plant Sale.

While the length of its run is murky, this year’s sale took place on April 13, once again at Floyd Light Middle School.

The wide variety of plants offers something of interest for nearly every gardener.

Outside the sale, while counting shoppers, LGF Executive Director David Porter commented, “At opening time, the parking lot was completely filled, and people were circling the lot waiting for parking space to open; some of them parked blocks away and walked in, this morning.”

By noon, Porter observed, more than 600 people had visited the sale, “making this one of our best, ever!”

The plant sale is very successful this year, agrees Leach Garden Friends member, and sale co-coordinator, Fran Bozarth.

“It’s been a whirlwind of activity here today,” said LGF member and sale co-coordinator Fran Bozarth. “Even though we have a half-dozen cashiers working, the line buyers waiting to buy went around the inside of the building.”

It’s true, Leach Botanical Garden is owned by Portland Parks & Recreation. But, it’s the LGF volunteers who keep it going. “That what makes this sale so important to our organization; it raises funds to support the garden’s operation and the programs we offer to the public,” Bozarth told East Portland News.

Coming from the Montavilla neighborhood, these happy shoppers – Raymond Piccolotti and Brigid Piccolotti – say they’re finding delightful plants to purchase.

Markus Mead, with Oregon Coast Wasabi, sells plants, starts and prepared herbs from a farm in Tillamook – the largest one of its kind in the United States.

What makes the sale so attractive, Bozarth mused, is the wide variety of plants coming from great nurseries year after year – as well as the new vendors at each sale.

“We’re grateful for everyone who shops and supports our efforts; and we’re also so appreciative of the 50 volunteers who work so diligently to put this sale on,” Bozarth commended.

Children’s Nature Fair returns May 18

There will be a lot of fun again this year’s at the Children’s Nature Fair, held on May 18. East Portland News archive image

The theme of this year’s Leach Garden Children’s Nature Fair is “Fun with Nature!” From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at this fun, free, family event, one can shimmy like a salmon or chirp like a Chickadee.

Due to fear for the safety of common, garden banana slugs, Ron Goodwin won’t be holding “Slug Races” this year. East Portland News archive image

Sorry to disappoint, but  “Mr. Ron’s Famous Slug Races” won’t take place this year

But, there;s a lot of fun in store for kids of all ages. They can make a mask of your favorite animal and then take the stage to play your part as predator or prey, or pollinator. Also, enjoy lots of fun activities and nature-based crafts. Meet some surprise guests, dance to the music, and have a traditional ice cream cone.

It’s all happening May 18 at Leach Botanical Garden, located one long twisty block south of SE Foster Road, at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue, 97236.

For more information about this, or any other Leach Garden event, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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