Every June White Flower Farm has a tent sale on the Friday before the annual open house event. For a variety of reasons I haven't been to it in a number of years. My friend Monique, never misses it. In fact, she marks it on her calendar and schedules a vacation day months in advance. Another friend from my town contacted me this week to say she was going as well. Hmmm...I was planning to take a vacation day on Friday. My local friend offered to drive so we went together. Litchfield is about an hour from my house on scenic roads and despite the heat wave it was a beautiful morning for a ride.
The sale started at 9:00. We arrived just after 8:15. At that point there was still plenty of parking and nursery carts available. A group of die hard shoppers had already secured carts and staked their spots in line. People kept arriving and long before the opening bell tolled a large mob had formed. Most were pleasant and chatty (after all these are gardeners) but you could tell there was a group of militants who meant business. A few people became territorial when asked to move so traffic could get through the parking lot. Really?
Every year the selection of sale items varies but it always includes both plants and hard goods. For many the terra cotta pots are the prize. You need to be quick and have sharp elbows to snag one of them. Unfortunately a few people with stickers pre-labeled "SOLD", ran into the sales area within the first minute and slapped the sold stickers on many of the largest containers. My friend was able to get the one she wanted but had to deal with unnecessary rudeness.
If you ask me the sticker tactic isn't fair and shouldn't be allowed. I've never understood that take no prisoners shopper mentality. You would be hard pressed to find me standing in line for hours in the cold in front of a Target on Thanksgiving night. An altercation over a TV or video game on sale at Best Buy? Not likely, but to each his own. For what it's worth we did report the practice to a WFF employee who seemed to agree it was wrong and said they would look into it.
What I came to the sale for was the plants! Premium annuals were two bucks, perennials four, potted shrubs fifteen and lots of other stuff priced as marked but at a steep discount. If you've done any shopping at WFF you know the regular prices are not for the faint of heart but even compared to regular nurseries the plants were priced to sell. And despite the crowd, the supply was plentiful.
I bought mostly annuals to plug holes in the borders and swap out some container combos I designed that aren't working out. Eventually I did take a stroll through the hard goods area and ended up scoring a nice obelisk (the larger one from this set) for only $30 and a small Crete pot shaped like a bowl that I plan to plant with succulents and use as a centerpiece on my patio table. That was $6,
Not a bad haul, eh?
And we managed to pack it all into the car with room to spare!
Be still my heart!
Yes, food was part of the excursion too. Litchfield County is rich in swoon worthy restaurants. Based on a recommendation from Monique, we took another scenic 20 minute drive over country roads to Woodbury for lunch at Carole Peck's Good News Cafe. Pricey but great food with an emphasis on local and organic with many vegan options.
Not long after I got home a cold front rolled through providing some much needed rain and a break in the beastly heat. More rain this morning but it's supposed to clear up and turn into a nice summer day. Let's hope so because I've got some planting to do!