Arlington Garden Club plant sale exceeds goal

Snohomish County Master Gardener John Marsh gives tips on home-growing to Libby Adams at the Arlington Garden Club
Snohomish County Master Gardener John Marsh gives tips on home-growing to Libby Adams at the Arlington Garden Club's plant sale on May 10.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Garden Club’s annual plant sale returned to the Arlington City Hall Plaza on  May 10, with a goal of raising 25 percent more in proceeds for the beautification of Arlington and the enhancement of Arlington High School’s horticulture programs.

The event made its goal for this year, said Diane Jochimsen, a Garden Club member who found herself tending to several hundred plants that were donated to her and her husband, Mike Conner, for the plant sale.

While last year’s plant sale generated $2,026, including the bake sale, this year’s plant sale made $2,582.50, with the bake sale adding $518.05.

Indeed, Jochimsen counted 133 sales of individual plants this year, which was 26 percent more than the number of sales last year.

“This year’s plants looked quite a bit better than last year’s, and last year’s plants looked pretty good,” Jochimsen said. “We’re trying to get better, each year, with the plants we provide.”

Hostas were among the more-popular plants at this year’s sale.

“There were quite a few pies too — four tables full, all home-baked,” Jochimsen said. “I also saw a German braid-bread, purchased right at the start of the sale, that made my mouth water.”

While the Arlington Garden Club is donating its bake sale money to the Oso Fire Department, the plant sale will help fund a scholarship for one local high school student, and partially fund Future Farmers of America programs for seven local high schools.

Arlington Garden Club members work from January through April of each year to gather and pot plants for that year’s sale. As many as three dozen Garden Club members circulate through the site of the sale itself.

“We had four members verifying that plants were worth selling and applying prices to them,” Jochimsen said. “Other people took the plants from the pricing people and arranged them artfully on our 27 tables. We even had people who were knowledgeable in the field, to try and answer buyers’ questions.”

Jochimsen expects next year’s plant sale will focus on providing more native plants, as well as more vegetable and herb starts, while she will suggest to her fellow Garden Club members that the bake sale’s proceeds again go to a community cause unrelated to horticulture.

“I’m sure all our members have found it difficult, at times, to go out in the rain and make sure they get a particular plant potted in time for the sale,” Jochimsen said. “But it becomes rewarding for everyone when you can teach someone about the color and blossoms that plants bring to a garden, and see the smiles on their faces as you describe it.”

Jochimsen cited the Mayor’s Garden at the City Hall Plaza, as well as the sign at Lebanon Park and the hanging plant baskets along Olympic Avenue, as examples of the Arlington Garden Club’s beautification efforts.

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