Friends Plant Sale

tammymn(Z4MN)May 8, 2010

Today was my first time at the sale. Got there early 0700 got an arm band for 1100 oclock start. Checked out at 1205. I spent 5 hours there and I dont think I would go again because with all the different green houses I visit I usually get what I want. I thought some prices where very good, and some of the others were the same at some of the nurseries but the plant was smaller. I am sure there are plenty of fans of the sale, but first and last time for me.

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Hi, Tammy. My experience was pretty much the same. Arrived early, got a wristbandÂGreen 6Âand was in the 6th group of 50 that were cattle-chuted in after the doors opened at 11. And I left at 12:05. The plant I most wanted (the Cynthia Johnson lavender) didn't make it to the sale, but I got some things I wanted, including an alpine clematis (Pink Flamingo), a tomato I couldn't find anywhere else (Seed Savers Italian) and some relatively well-priced lily bulbs. I did enjoy the atmosphere of the event and had fun conversations with other gardeners during the cold and rainy wait periods (among other things, I learned that a lot of folks get lavender Hidcote and Munstead routinely to overwinter in the TC). But, like you, it was a one-shot deal for me (and for a good cause). Gary

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:57AM
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I went Friday for the second time in as many years. I was looking for a few unusual plants and a few more usual ones cheaper and in smaller sizes. I purchased a variegated Zebra-Striped Sweet Iris 'Argentea Varigata' (really cool looking) and also a number of tiny little packs of White Clips. The Friends School plants I planted last year have surpassed the growth of some that I purchased in bigger pots from other local sources. I think the quality is pretty good, and the money goes for a good cause.
I think a big part of the draw to the Friends School Plant Sale is the energy that surrounds it. Lots of optimistic gardeners rubbing shoulders (literally) - meeting together en masse as an official "kick off" of the garden season in MN.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:38PM
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I went on Friday, in the early evening. There were no lines and it was relatively easy to get around. The crowds were probably somewhat subdued by the rain. I went home with several unique perennials. I did also go back on Sunday for the half-off sale. I got there at about 12:30 p.m., and observed a massive crowd divided into two sections: (1) a group that had obtained wristbands waiting to get into the building in 50 person sections; and (2) a huge line of a few hundred people waiting to get wristbands. Once I saw this, I simply turned around and went home. The way it looked, I figured I'd be in line for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

- Adam

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 2:49PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Being a volunteer I went on Thursday evening. I got there about 8:00 there was no wait and check out was fast. I also was able to get everything I wanted. There were a lot of people there but nothing like during the regular sale.

I really appreciate the unique plants I get there and many of the plants in my winter hardy cactus garden come from there. I only added one new one this year it was the only one I didn't already have.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Friday was also my first time to the sale. I was expecting the chaos and despite the rain I was well prepared to stand in it. We thought it would be less busy considering the rain. I would say 20 mins in the line to get the band, maybe 45 mins to get in, and over an hour to check out. This was probably the most disappointing part of the sale. As much as I thought I was prepared for anything, I would say when volunteers were merging others directly in front of me or when I was asked to stand outside for the check out; I was ready to leave my plants and just go home. I bought $200 worth of goods. I am happy to have them. Some look a bit leggy and they are not large, but I didn't expect them to be at the prices.
I would go again if I ever want a mass quantity of flowers. I wouldn't even consider going if I had a few to buy. It wouldn't be worth the time and energy. I had trouble not being in complete and utter shock by those people I saw caring one or 2 plants. I couldn't figure out how they could have the patience to stand in a line that went on forever.
I would like to know the BEST time to go other than volunteering. I thought Friday would be good because it's a weekday, but there were a million people there. I thought rain would be good for obvious reasons, but that didn't seem to matter. When does the sale really get picked over? I was wondering how much was really left by Sunday, but didn't need anything else really, so I don't the answer to it. It was quite the experience. Expect Disney World type lines and waiting.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:28AM
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Erica, I went Friday around 3:30, there was no line (yay!) to get in, but a number of items I wanted were already sold out (boo-hoo).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:53PM
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