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Garden event roundup: early spring edition

Plant sales, classes and other Whatcom county events to look forward to

Debra Olberg reaches for a branch of Blue Princess Holly Monday
Debra Olberg reaches for a branch of the perennial plant Blue Princess Holly on Sept. 18, 2023 at Garden Spot Nursery. Garden Spot will be hosting a variety of spring events and workshops for gardeners of all levels. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By Cocoa Laney Lifestyle Editor

Perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves — but as days grow longer, we can’t help but get excited about spring. Daylight saving time is just around the corner, which means the first round of 2024 gardening events are cropping up around town.

What better to raise spirits than the promise of fresh blooms? Whether you’re planning your spring garden or just want to buy fresh flowers, these events offer something for gardeners of all levels.

Plant sales and seed swaps

Salish Seed Swap
11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St.

Come meet and mingle with a variety of local growers, or bring your own seeds to share with the community. In addition to the seed swap, this annual event includes two free talks: an informational presentation on Salish Seed Guild and local seed heritage (1 p.m.), and a workshop on garden strategies in the Pacific Northwest (2 p.m.). Remember to bring your own envelope to transport seeds in. A $10 donation is suggested. Info: salishseed.org

Whatcom Conservation District Native Plant Sale
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16, Pioneer Park, 2004 Cherry St.

Every year, Whatcom Conservation District hosts a native plant sale with the goal of “[promoting] the stewardship and conservation of our natural resources.” All plants sold are conservation grade, meaning they’re graded by hardiness rather than their ornamental qualities. Preorders can be made through March 1. Info: whatcomcd.org

Multi-Farmer Tuber and Plant Sale
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, White Barn Floral Co., 7474 Noon Road 

This event has everything from tubers (dahlia and otherwise) to cut flowers and handmade crafts. Four different local farms will be participating, along with a variety of local artisans. The sale takes place at White Barn Flower Co., a Lynden-based flower grower located in an old dairy farm. Info: facebook.com

Fairhaven Plant and Tree Sale
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 1400 Larrabee Ave.

The Fairhaven Plant and Tree Sale has been going strong for 36 years and counting. Join more than a dozen local vendors selling everything from veggie starts to bushes, berries and even gifts. A portion of all proceeds is donated to Fairhaven Neighbors, who then pass on the goodwill to local nonprofits. Info: facebook.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
April 1-31

Need I say more about this one? Skagit’s biggest annual event runs for the entirety April, and it’s truly a sight to be seen. Visitors from all over the country flock to the North Sound to bask in the beauty of hundreds of thousands of tulips in every color of the rainbow. Participating growers include RoozenGaarde, Tulip Town, Garden Rosalyn and Tulip Valley Farm. Info: tulipfestival.org.

Whatcom County Dahlia Society Tuber Sale
10 a.m. Saturday, April 6, Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave.

On the first Saturday of every April, the Whatcom County Dahlia Society holds its annual tuber sale — and best of all, dahlias of just about every variety will be available for just $6–10. Proceeds benefit local growers as well as the Whatcom County Dahlia Society. Info: facebook.com

Early Bloomer Plant Sale
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 5299 Nielsen Road

Kick-off spring with the Master Gardener Foundation of Whatcom County at their first plant sale of 2024. The Early Bloomer sale will focus on winter plants, as well as plants that bloom in early spring. Can’t make it in person? There’s even an online sale April 27–29, with pickup available on May 4. Info: whatcommgf.org


Whatcom County Home and Garden Show
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday–Sunday, April 12–14, Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center, 1775 Front St.

The Whatcom Home and Garden show is arguably the area’s most anticipated spring trade show, and for several good reasons. First and foremost, it’s the largest home show north of Seattle, and you can expect a variety of local and regional vendors to be in attendance. Attendees can also take advantage of workshops, speakers, demonstrations and more. Info: biawc.com

Workshops

Plant Amnesty Rose Pruning Class
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, online

Students in this virtual course will learn all about the basics of rose care from master gardener Keith Dekker. Note that pre-registration is required, and sign-ups end an hour before class start time. The Master Gardening Foundation of Whatcom County is a great resource for gardening workshops, so keep an eye on their website this spring for even more events. Info: whatcommgf.org

Gardening Green Sustainable Landscaping Course
10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Feb. 24 – March 9, March 23 and March 30, BP Heron Center in Birch Bay State Park, 7290 Birch Bay Drive

Sustainable gardens have a myriad of perks: They’re better for the environment, they require little maintenance and they’re as beautiful as they are beneficial. Want to learn how to make your own foray into sustainable landscaping? Join in on this multi-week course beginning Feb. 24. Info: whatcommgf.org.

Planting a Dye Garden in the Pacific Northwest
2–3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, Northwest Yarns & Mercantile, 1401 Commercial St.

Ever wanted to make your own dye from home-grown plants? Well, here’s your chance: Fiber arts and horticulture collide at this one-day workshop. Discover what varieties grow best in the Northwest with Echo Mae, learn about dye history and culture, and even purchase seeds to take home. Info: allevents.com

Cloud Mountain Farm Center workshops and events
Dates vary, 6906 Goodwin Road 

Cloud Mountain Farm Center, a nonprofit teaching farm located across 30 acres in Sumas, has an impressive lineup of spring workshops. Highlights include Growing Fruit Trees 101 (Feb. 22), Winter Propagation (March 23) and Gardening with Native Plants (April 14). Check their website for a full list of workshops, plus sign-up details. Info: cloudmountainfarmcenter.org

Garden Spot Nursery workshops and events
10 a.m., dates vary, 900 Alabama St. 

For workshops closer to Bellingham, check out Garden Spot’s spring lineup. There’s a kokedama make-and-take workshop on Feb. 17, where participants can learn how to make hanging gardens using a moss ball. Indoor gardeners should also enjoy the houseplant workshop on Feb. 24. Next month, Garden Spot is. hosting a plant swap (March 2) and a victory garden art fair (March 23), plus workshops for seed starts (March 9), fruit tree pruning (March 16) and chemical-free gardening (March 30). Info: facebook.com

My Garden Nursery workshops and events
Dates vary, 929 E. Bakerview Road

My Garden Nursery on Bakerview also has a wealth of spring events to look forward to. Charmingly, every month has a theme: February is “berry bonanza,” March is “mushroom madness” and April is dedicated to flowers (because, you know, April showers bring May flowers). Info: mygardennursery.com.

Cocoa Laney is CDN’s lifestyle editor; reach her at cocoalaney@cascadiadaily.com; 360-922-3090 ext. 128.

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