The Art of the Cart

New to the Friends School Plant Sale? Or a returning customer planning to buy even more plants than last time?

There are some grocery carts available at the sale, but many serious shoppers find that bringing their own wheels is the way to go.

For 23 years we have been privileged to observe amazing and ingenious examples of “the art of the cart” and would like to share some of our customers’ best ideas with you.

When planning your cart, remember that, unless you are shopping in the afternoon Friday or Saturday, there will be lots of other shoppers (all part of the fun!)

Also, if you have never been to the Plant Sale before, do check out the videos on our website to give you some idea of what 66,000 square feet of plants look like so you can bring a suitable cart.

What if you don’t want to use a cart? Bring a friend to help carry one of the thousands of strawberry flats our volunteers have gathered from area super­markets.

But we think that you’ll be happy you brought a cart or wagon that can handle the job. Our guess is that you will want to buy more than you ever imagined you would. And with your own cart, you can!

On Loan from the Office or Warehouse

Cardboard banker boxes stacked on a luggage wheelie, held with bungee cord

Plastic or cardboard file boxes secured to a luggage carrier with straps or bungee cords. Tiers of wire mail baskets and recycling bins have also been used.

Three women with a hand cart, horizontal, with board and extra shelf

You could use a dolly or handcart as a base.These shoppers used an existing hand cart or dolly and improvised additional shelves.

Wire metal shelves with wheels on the bottom

Repurpose that set of shelves. Add wheels, and it’s a plant cart

Dog carrier with plants inside and on top.

This dog carrier was one of the most unusual re-purposings we’ve seen, showing that almost any sturdy container fitted with wheels can work! (Yes, there are wheels under there.)

Borrowed from the Children

Look around... maybe the little ones have something you can use.

Metal Radio Flyer wagon with extra shelf added using scrap lumber.

The Good Old Red Wagon, by far the most popular plant-transportation device. With added shelving.

Plastic storage bins perched on a child's wagon.

Or stacks of plastic storage bins.  

Baby stroller with plants in it.

A baby stroller is handy and maneuverable. Also easier to fit into a small car than some of the others.


If you are handy enough to construct your own cart, or know someone who is, here are a few recommendations.

It helps to design your cart to hold the exact bins, tubs, or boxes that you plan to use. This keeps them from sliding or toppling over without having to use straps.

Vertical cart, three bins stacked with  L-shaped base and side, wheels

An upright, possibly double-decker, push-style cart is easy to make. If at least its two front wheels are able to swivel, it will be even easier to maneuver than a wagon.

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