Yesterday, I joined the hoards of women fighting for the perfect pair of kicky heels at the infamous Army and Navy shoe sale (I restrained myself to three pairs). This is a legendary event, in which women (and a few really brave men) line up for hours to score discount shoes. When the doors open, shoppers run, screaming (literally), to the shoe racks, where they grab everything in their size. When employees come out to restock the shelves, they are mobbed. Crazy, right?
A scene from the annual VanDusen Plant Sale.
Almost as nutty is the equally legendary VanDusen Botanical Garden’s annual plant sale, coming this Sunday, when more than 40,000 plants go on sale to benefit the Garden.
Plant nuts start lining up as early as 7 a.m. for the 10 a.m. door opening. When the doors open at 10 a.m., crazed gardeners race to grab the hot plant picks, usually dragging a wagon or running behind a wheelbarrow. The prize? Gardener’s gold – that special one-of-a-kind plant or great bargain that can’t be found anywhere else. More than 10,000 people attend the sale.
I happen to have an advance copy of the plant sale catalogue (you can download yours here), a list of plants that reads like soft porn. While the sale is known for its fabulous selection of perennials, I was intrigued by the edibles, of course – unusual and heirloom varieties of apples; enough herbs to fill a estate-sized potager; tomatoes, mushrooms. You’ll also find a great selection of cannas, carnivorous plants, Pacific Northwest native plants, pelargoniums, rhodos – and many rare and unusual treasures.
Sunday, April 25
Doors open at 10 a.m. (and close at 4 p.m.)
Great Lawn at VanDusen Botanical Garden
5251 Oak Street at W. 37th
Loree/ danger garden says
God I hope this standing in line before opening thing doesn’t catch on down here in Portland.
Dirty Girl Gardening says
This sounds like fun!
Oh look at that. I’m changing my plans for sunday now. 7am you say ;) Maybe I’ll see you there!
Thanks again for the reminder about the sale! I went, early as you recomended and was second in line. It was a lot of fun, with great people, fabulous plants and the most amazing energy in the air! I posted some pictures on my blog from the sale and linked to you for where I heard about it this year. Hope you get a chance to check it out.
Oh my goodness you brought back memories! I used to volunteer at VanDusen and the plant sale was always looked forward to as the event of the year. Better than Christmas!People having such a great time, picnics on the lawns and Oh, the Plants!! I remember one year a featured plant was a rare double trillium. I would highly recommend attending if you’re in the area.
That sounds wonderful, not sure if we have something like this in our area.