THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST is filled with horticultural riches, and spring around here is typically filthy (in a good way) with specialty plant sales. Except when COVID-19 and social distancing disrupt life as we know it. Due to Pacific NW magazine’s deadlines, this story, about plotting plant-sale purchases according to your primary garden focus, is from the world of a month ago. Unfortunately, as of press time, many plant sales had been canceled. Likely, more will be.

Check with individual organizations for the latest updates and accommodations on these events.

For the backyard grower/eater 

Tilth Alliance’s May Edible Plant Sale boasts the largest selection of organically, sustainably and locally grown vegetable starts in the Puget Sound region, including heirloom tomatoes, culinary herbs, and bountiful fruit trees and berry bushes. Choose from among the best varieties for growing in our Northwest gardens.

Information: Online sales only, Friday through Tuesday, May 1-5. Complete plant list and ordering details on the Tilth website.

More: The King County Master Gardener Foundation Spring Plant Sale, previously scheduled for April 24-25, is canceled. Check the website for updated information on classes and other programming.

For the plant collector

The Woodinville Garden Club is exploring alternatives to its annual plant sale, held on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle the day before Mother’s Day. The plan is to offer member-grown plants and finished containers for sale to the public while complying with all CDC and state guidelines regarding social distancing. Check out the website for details, updates and ordering information.


Information: Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St. in Woodinville.

More: Hardy Plant Society of Washington, Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. Northwest Perennial Alliance Spring Plant Sale, Sunday, May 3, at Bellevue Botanical Garden in the Aaron Education Center.

For the neighborhood naturalist

The Washington Native Plant Society (Central Puget Sound Chapter) is committed to promoting native plants well-suited to Western Washington gardens and supportive to wildlife. While the spring plant sale has been canceled, the organization is pivoting to provide extensive electronic resources and connect gardeners with WNPS partner nurseries to source native bulbs, trees, shrubs and perennials, and ground covers. Visit the WNPS website to learn about gardening for wildlife, supporting pollinators, managing noxious weeds and more.

For the flower lover

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden will host the 2020 May Plant Sale featuring the Puget Sound Daylily Club, King County Iris Society, Puget Sound Fuchsia Society, Seattle Rose Society, Western Species Fuchsia Society and Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden Foundation. Whew! That’s beaucoup blooms.

Information: Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, 13735 24th Ave. S. in SeaTac.

Thankfully, spring is not canceled. Under the spell of longer days and warming soil, the garden is energetically and manifestly growing. I encourage you to support local growers and nonprofit gardening organizations who literally bank on the busy spring-planting season. Keep calm, and garden on.