Black Friday is perhaps the closest analogy to what will happen Saturday morning outside the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.
While the centre’s 2019 Spring Plant Sale will run over two days (April 27th-28th), running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, eager green thumbs will have already lined up outside the gates well before they will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
“I don’t think it [the plant sale] is such a feeding frenzy,” said Linda Petite, HCP’s head gardener. “They are not lined up at midnight. But they do line up [for best selection], and they come from all over.”
Overall, Petite expects thousands of visitors during the sale. While more experienced buyers will have already prepared their shopping lists after scanning the sales list available online, they might find themselves in a competition over plants with limited supplies, said Petite.
In fact, Petite said she has seen would-be buyers vying over that last plant. People might not push each other to snap up that last salvia plant, but they might claim that they had seen it first. “People work it out, but I have seen that,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting to see that energy.”
The spring plant sale is HCP’s biggest fundraiser and happens against the backdrop of unfolding climate change, as perhaps evidenced by this winter’s unusual cold snap and heavy snowfall in February. It not only destroyed some plants that would have gone on sale this spring, but also changed preferences.
Plants that resist drought and attract bees and other pollinators because of their colourfulness such as salvia, have become increasingly popular, said Petite.
The centre will also hold a second plant sale in the fall.