2017 Spring Wildflower Market Update

By Dawn Weber
Member-at-Large, Plant Sale Chairperson, and
Chairperson, Technology Committee, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

 

During the Mother’s Day weekend, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter sold 2,110 Missouri native wildflowers and shrubs to Spring Wildflower Market shoppers that were eager to learn about and purchase native plants. Some folks came in with plant lists, others were looking for guidance about what to buy, and we helped them all.

Marypat Ehlmann with some beautiful lanceleaf coropsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Our plants looked GREAT this year. The lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) and beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) were in bloom and sold out quickly, as did other favorites like Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and the spring ephemerals like bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). We had a lot of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) to sell this year, although some species ran out earlier than others.

We made a few changes this year:

  • Using online volunteer signup
  • Setting up on Friday morning (rather than Thursday afternoon)
  • Creating a different grouping strategy for the plants
  • Placing more plant signs

We felt that all were successful. I received lots of feedback regarding the changes, including some suggestions that we’ll be considering for next year.

Thanks to Sue Leahy and Susan Burk for joining the plant sale committee. Distributing the responsibility made things a LOT easier for me as the chairperson.

After paying the vendor, our Chapter made a final profit of $3,988. This money supports our Chapter’s gatherings, grant program, tabling event materials, the Landscape Challenge, and our support of the Native Plant School at Shaw Nature Reserve.

Volunteers helping unload the last of the plants from the vendor

Thirty-two Wild Ones members helped with this year’s sale by:

  • Gathering boxes for shoppers
  • Setting up the booth and unloading plants
  • Helping customers locate and select plants
  • Checking out shoppers and keeping the line moving – our booth was one that did not have long lines!
  • Loading up the remaining plants at the end of the sale and tearing down the booth

Special thanks to Marilyn Chryst for sharing her knowledge, experience, and concerns with me, to ensure continued success of the plant sale.

Thanks again to everyone! We’re thinking about 2018 already. Hope to see you then!

2 thoughts on “2017 Spring Wildflower Market Update

  1. Attended this event and booth last year but sorry I missed it this year; however, I would like to volunteer to help out next year esp. with setting up. Let me know please ahead in plenty of time at least 1 month before with the specific day and time or earlier sounds great! Really enjoyed your booth at Earth Day celebration in Forest Park. I purchased blue bells last year and they came up again this year! I have an array of different native wildflowers and I love all of them!!! In fact I forget what I have planted besides the purple cone flowers and black eyed Susans with my reddish columbine that tries to take over; thus I treasure each wildflower that surprises me with blooms and cherish it as a gift and rejoice to see that particular wildflower growing again in my garden.
    Thanks for your website and recommendations and info. Bless all of us!

  2. So glad for the new changes and success of the plant sale. Kudos to all the tireless workers. Promise to help next year.

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