This story has been updated with the total amount raised.
The light Saturday morning rain did nothing to deter hundreds of intrepid local garden enthusiasts from showing up for the chance to take home some first-rate planting material at the annual Edmonds Floretum Garden Club plant sale.
The sale is a major fundraiser for Floretum, where the plants and garden-related tools, gifts and décor are all donated by club members. The plants come almost exclusively from members’ personal gardens, with many continuously setting aside cuttings, thinnings and plants that no longer fit their landscape plans and earmarking them for the sale.
“This event is all member-driven,” said Floretum President Mary Kimball. “All the plants and other artistic creations you see today are things that members have been taking under their wings for the past year in anticipation of this event. It is so cool to see our members so engaged in providing beautification opportunities for people who live in and around Edmonds.
“In addition, this sale is the main source of funding for our scholarship program,” she continued. “We provide $1,500 scholarships each year to a student studying horticulture or botany. This sale is really important for the success of that program.”
Kimball went on to explain how Floretum membership has grown in the past two years.
“We now have more than 180 members,” she said. “We experienced more than 10% growth in membership over the past year, we’re proud to be the largest garden club in the state of Washington. While there’s no way to be sure, I suspect that this is at least in part due to folks spending more time in their gardens during the COVID lockdown and discovering the love of plants right in their own backyard.”
According to Floretum treasurer Tracy Heffelfinger, this year’s sale netted $5,100 for the club.
“This is right in the ballpark for us,” Heffelfinger added. “Historically we take in around $5,000, give or take. This year’s plant material inventory was down a bit from past years, but our “garden boutique” offerings (tools, décor, etc.) were way up. Every year is a new and wonderful surprise present to see what our members offer up with their plants, art and donations.”
Learn more about the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel