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Plant sale draws record crowd

By Staff | Jul 24, 2010

This year’s Huge Native Plant Sale at Rotary Park was the most popular ever, said city officials.
The park has been housing the plant sale every spring and summer since 2002 and even though organizers were worried about the potential for rough weather left behind by Tropic Depression Bonnie, it wasn’t fazed.
“We pretty much sold out of most of everything,” said Honey Archey, an environmental recreation specialist with the City of Cape Coral. “People were here before I was ready to go.”
This sale is unique because it offers residents an opportunity to purchase plants that are native to Florida. Ironically, native plants are more difficult to locate in traditional gardening stores, said Archey. Experts from the local Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society were also available to answer questions and make suggestions about native plants.
John Sibley, president of the Coccoloba Chapter, was a vendor at the sale and said he experienced an excellent turnout. Overall, there were approximately 1,000 plants for sale and near the end of the event there were about 100 left.
“A lot of people come year after year, they look forward to the event,” said Sibley.
He estimated that some 500 local residents came to the sale on Saturday.
Archey said many people attended this year’s sale because they lost a significant amount of plants due to the colder weather this winter. Some wanted to replace lost native plants, while others wanted to replace their lost items with plants there are more native to the region.
“The vendors were happy, they sold a lot of plants,” said Archey.
Cape Coral resident Courtney Acevedo spent the afternoon searching for native plants that would help attract butterflies. Her plan is to create a butterly garden for her children.
“I’ve been to the park but I’ve never been to a native plant sale before,” said Acevedo.
She left the event with some plants and said she would return to a future sale at Rotary Park.
The sale had trees, plants, shrubs, flowers and grasses ranging in price from $5 to $40. It was open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
or more information on native plants, visit the website of the Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society at www.fnpscoccoloba.org .