There’s something spiritual about walking through greenhouses loaded with plants that have been carefully tended by master gardeners since January.
The thousands of varieties of vegetables, herbs, decorative plants and flowers at 78th Street Heritage Farm are all ready for optimal planting right after purchase at the Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale, said Cheryl Cazenave, a master gardener and board member.
“You go in those greenhouses, and it’s almost like a religious experience,” Cazenave said. “It’s seas of green and beautiful colors, and all these wonderful smells.”
The sale, which pays for more than $25,000 worth of grants given out by the foundation each year, began at least 25 years ago, said Nancy Funk, a master gardener and board member.
Nobody in the group knows the exact year it started, although they’re trying to find out, she said.
The event is one of the most popular Mother’s Day plant sales in Clark County.
“It started with the master gardeners as a sale of their excess plants from home,” Funk said. “It evolved into a huge production, where we lease space from the county in eight greenhouses.”
The gardeners grow a wide range of plants that you can’t find in most retail spots. The 5,000 tomato plants for sale at the event alone include 52 different varieties, she said.
“We also have peppers, eggplant, herbs, lettuce, kale, beets, a whole lot of other things,” Funk said. “We have a lot of perennials, and I don’t know how many annuals.”
Vegetables are probably the most popular item, but the sale also includes flower arrangements for those looking for Mother’s Day presents, and several house plants, including many types of cactus.
“When we grow everything, the master gardeners, we divide up into teams,” Cazenave said. “It’s a very cooperative experience. We plant everything at the perfect time so they’re ready to go when people pick them up. I would call it a sort of controlled chaos.”
The sale also includes vendors with yard sculptures, pots and a variety of other garden tools and goods.
“It’s a great thing to work because you get to help people with their gardening,” Cazenave said. “People can ask questions, and we can pass on the passion in what we do.”
The sale begins at Heritage Farm at 9 a.m. Saturday, usually with a huge influx of people looking for the best plants, Funk said.
They actually don’t need to do that, though, because there are plenty of plants for those that come over the rest of the sale, which continues until 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
“A lot of moms come, a lot of families with young children,” Funk said. “You’ll see kids, they pick out a plant and carry it around for the whole sale, kind of like a pet. That’s so cute.”
The sale is one of several lined up for this weekend. Here’s a list with more information:
Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County Mother's Day Weekend Plant Sale
What: Master Gardener Foundation's May plant sale, with perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees and hanging baskets available. Master gardeners will also be on hand to answer questions.
Where: 78th Street Heritage Farm, 1919 N.E. 78th St.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 11.
Cost: Free. Plant prices vary. Credit cards, debit cards, checks and cash accepted.
Information: www.mgfcc.com or call 360-397-6060 ext. 5706.
Camas Patio, Plant and Garden Fair
What: Vendors will sell plants, trees, garden art, iron works and more. Sales support scholarships for local women.
Where: Northeast Fourth Avenue, downtown Camas.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
Cost: Free. Item costs vary. Some vendors may take credit cards, some may only take cash, organizers said.
Information: www.cwplantfair.org or call 360-216-7378.
VanRidge Garden Club plant sale
What: Plant sale featuring tomatoes, spring vegetables, annual and perennial flowers, trees and bushes. Proceeds will benefit the club's annual scholarship.
Where: Pleasant View Church of the Nazarene, 801 N.E. 194th St., Ridgefield.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 9-10.
Cost: Free. Plant prices vary. Checks and cash accepted.
Woodland High School plant sale
What: Woodland High School's 25th annual plant sale with annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and 30 different varieties of tomatoes, all raised by Woodland students.
Where: 757 Park St., Woodland.
When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 9 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
Cost: Free. Plant prices vary. Payment information unavailable.