Annual VanDusen plant sale spotlights Canada's 150th

Annual VanDusen plant sale spotlights Canada's 150th

The annual VanDusen plant sale is this Sunday, April 30 in Vancouver and organizers say it's the perfect opportunity to add some patriotic red and white to your gardens for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

Shawn Mitchell, executive director of the Botanical Gardens Association, is overseeing the sale and he says the cold and rainy weather — which has put a damper on nurseries and crops elsewhere in the Lower Mainland — will not change the plant sale.

"People have been asking us whether or not the nature of sale has been impacted by the late spring, and the reality of it is no, we still have tons of plants," he said.

"It's just that some of them are going to show a little differently at this time of year."

Mitchell says his advice for gardeners is to be patient and prepare.

"When you do get your plants in, you have to know that they will bloom later," he said. "There's no point rushing it."

The theme this year — With Growing Hearts! — celebrates Canada's 150th birthday, and Mitchell says there will be a special focus on flowers that bloom red and white including bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) and scarlet-flowered bee balms (Monarda didyma).

An online catalogue is available, and volunteer master gardeners will be on site to offer gardening advice.

The events takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT and admission to the garden is free. Proceeds from the sale go to support the garden's education programs.

With files from The Early Edition