Leach plant sale grows in shoppers, sales

Find out why organizers say this was one of their best plant sales in years.  And, learn about the Leach Garden Nature Fair on May 19 …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood of outer East Portland, at Floyd Light Middle School, the Leach Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale is in full swing.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For years, garden enthusiasts have looked forward to the Spring Plant Sale put on by volunteers with Leach Botanical Garden. On April 21, shoppers were enthusiastic about variety and quality of the plants offered; and, organizers were similarly pleased about the high level of sales.

The gymnasium at Floyd Light Middle School was turned into a garden paradise, with plants both from local growers and from the Leach Garden collection.

Welcoming people to the sale, and tracking the number of shoppers, are Leach Botanical Garden’s Education Coordinator Joann Vrilakas and Executive Director David Porter.

“In fact, we have 13 vendors from all over the Willamette Valley with their native and specialty plants for sale – giving shoppers a wide array of choices,” said Leach Garden Friends volunteer Fran Bozarth, this year’s plant sale coordinator.

“This sale is important, because it’s a great way for us to get in touch with members of our community – including some people didn’t know about the garden,” Bozarth told East Portland News. “We’re all glad to see many people coming to our Leach Garden Friends membership table and joining up today, and hopefully they’ll decide to become more directly involved with the garden!”

Sale coordinator Fran Bozarth spends a moment with Garden Curator Courtney Vengarick at the Leach Botanical Garden’s sale table.

Shoppers Lynn Chan and David Eger look for more plants to buy.

And, the annual sale raises a significant amount of money for Leach Garden Friends, a nonprofit organization. “While Portland Parks & Recreation owns the ground and does the heavy work for us, the Friends group actually runs the garden, maintains it, and works toward expanding it,” explained Bozarth.

This happy vendor is Cherie Siegmund with Cedarglenn Floral Company.

Some 60 volunteers from the Friends group pitched in to help set up the sale, carried plants for customers, and acted as cashiers.

Afterwards, Leach Botanical Garden Executive Director David Porter revealed that the plant sale attracted 666 shoppers this year, up from 502 last year – and netted $12,000, also up from last year’s more than $2,000.

Lots of plants and many shoppers make this a good year for the Leach Plant Sale.

Happy buyers David Shintani and Joanne Shintani head home to plant their new garden additions.

Leach Garden Nature Fair on May 19
This year on May 19, the Leach Garden Nature Fair returns, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.,

Bring the kids to this year’s FREE fair, entitled, “Chew Chomp Slurp: How Critters Eat”. Come explore how the food any animal eats affects its body and behavior – including yours. There will also Lady Bug explorations, a salmon run game, critter boxes and mini-terrariums, magnifying glasses and nets, and of course, slug races.

Make an animal mask, listen to a story, hear live music, try ikebana, and eat some ice cream. Fun for the whole family.

Note: This event is held in the Upper Garden! Leach Botanical Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue, 97236. CLICK HERE for more information at their official website.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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