Plants NOT at This Year's Sale — Sorry!
This is a new plant we *will* be having this year... Bidens Cupcake Strawberry.
When we had to pick which plants to sell at the 2021 plant sale in its special location outside and with fewer customers because of COVID constraints, we had to make decisions on what NOT to sell.
- What was realistic, given all of the complex changes we had to make to have a sale at all?
- What are the hardest plants for our customers to get elsewhere, but can still be sold in early May outside?
- Which growers can restock plants over multiple days?
And then there was the question of how much of each plant to have: Should we try to have enough of each variety, but fewer varieties, or more varieties with fewer of each one, since we had a limit on how much money we could spend? We chose to have more of each one, but fewer varieties, so shoppers would be less likely to be frustrated by early sellouts.
Therefore we had to prioritize some categories of plants over others. Highest priority went to edible plants (vegetables, fruit, and herbs), then native plants, followed by perennials and grasses. Climbers, miniatures, unusual, and shrubs were next, with annuals as the lowest priority — partly because so many of them are not cold-tolerant.
What follows is an overview of the plants that you will *not* find in this year's list. Some of them will be sold as seeds instead of plants. We hope to be able to bring back most of these favorites in 2022.
- We have eliminated the Outdoor/Indoor area for the year (tropicals) that usually begins the Annual section.
- Other plants that are completely gone from the Annuals section: begonias, castor beans, all coleus, dinnerplate and bedding dahlias (some tubers will be sold in the online seed and bulb/bareroot store), four o'clocks, impatiens, lantana, sweet potato vines, and vinca vines.
- Still within Annuals, ones that you will find as seeds instead of plants: annual asters (Callistephus), cockskcomb (Celosia), love in a mist (Nigella), and Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Plants that will be partially sold as seeds, partially as plants: cosmos, marigolds, nasturtiums, annual poppies, and zinnias. Find out about how seeds will be sold.
- There will not be any hanging baskets, partly because of the possibility of cold and partly because of the special handling they require in moving so they are not damaged.
- Many but not all of the annual climbers have been eliminated. Some are available as seed (hyacinth bean, runner beans, morning glories, cardinal climber).
- In edibles, there are fewer changes...
- For basil, we are selling it as seeds if it was available because it does well direct-sown in the ground later in May, but there were many varieties we could not find in retail packets so we are still offering those as plants.
- Within vegetables, the only really notable thing is that we are not selling cuke-nuts (Melothria scabra, also called Mexican gherkins) as plants because it's just too early in the season; they will be for sale as seeds and can be direct-sown when the soil warms, like beans or cucumbers.
- In the shrub and tree section, you'll notice the absence of many plants we usually sell in smaller pots. These are all from one Michigan grower whose plants require a lot of extra time and handling by volunteers, and we just don't have that luxury this year. Look for those again next year, as well as shrubs and trees from our Canadian growers.
We're happy to be able to have a sale at all this year after having to cancel in 2020. We hope you are as well, within the limits of what's possible outside in early May in Minnesota.
Stick with us as we figure out how to reinvent the Friends School Plant Sale for 2021. Thank you!