Warriston Plant Sale, Sunday 12 May, 2019
Healthy Growth at Plant Sale
The plant sale, now in its third year, continues to be a best seller. It was a warm, balmy Sunday, perfect for setting out our stalls. Profits nearly doubled — £650 against last year’s £330 and the selection of plants and other items on offer had expanded — there were many more young vegetable plants, grown on by plot holders, all healthy and ready to plant — dozens of succulent leafy courgettes were a favourite and went quickly (donated by Alison, Nicola and Nadia). So too did trays of brassica and herbs — lavender (thanks Mette) particularly flying off the palettes. Plants (all bee friendly flowers) sourced from local nurseries (thanks to Pentland Plants and Redhouse) and donated either free, or at a discount, were also popular — marigolds, snapdragons, verbena, alyssum, salvia and a variety of herbs are now dotted around the site attracting pollinators.
We expanded a little beyond the plant world this year with new additions including Fair Isle hats and gloves by Christine and the dark green, exclusive Warriston bag sporting the beautiful new logo created by Tim and printed by Nicola. All of these items were close to selling out. Thanks are due to invited guests Richard and Ursula from Portobello Timebank who brought along their tool sharpening expertise and rehabilitated many battle-worn Warriston tools, skillfully honing them back to good-as-new.
Home baking by Esme, Alison, Fiona, Alice and a number of newcomers (next year we’ll remember to take names!) kindly brought in tasty treats for us all to munch with tea and coffee. Crumbs were much appreciated by the plant sale fox who has been a wildlife fixture each year to the delight of us all.
And thanks to all those who helped both behind the scenes setting up and on the day. Plot holders (about 14 of us) priced the goods, manned the stalls, took the cash, provided refreshments and tidied away — a really wonderful effort.
Communal Area Open
Our other main attraction was the opening of the communal area. A work in progress for a couple of years, its benches, including 'Jock's bench', were well used for tea and picnics. The new turf (thanks Colin) had taken well and was ready for action. It continues to grow lush and rampant! By winter, we hope the surrounding area will be fully sown with clover, which can be mowed twice a year — there’s a bit of weeding to do here, and some sowing — we welcome anyone who might like to help with this. Just contact the committee on firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the east end of the area, just beyond the fence, we’ve planted a short wildlife hedge (hawthorn and blackthorn) and will nurture some primulas beneath.
Kay is in the process of training the fruit trees around the fence so in future years, anyone taking a seat in autumn will be able to pick an apple or pear to snack on.
Black compost bins have been sited beside the grass so that weeds from around the communal area can be disposed of easily and provide compost in future. These bins are not for plot holder use — we have enough weeds to fill them all at the moment!
As well as the annual May plant sale we hope to host sporadic events (talks, workshops etc relevant to allotment holders). Any ideas or requests to use the space for a communal gathering should get in touch with the committee at the above email address or through the website. We’re happy to consider all!
Photos: Esme, AB, NM
Warriston Plant Sale, Sunday 13 May, 2018
Bargains snapped up at the sale.
Plant Sale In Full Sun
The 2018 plant sale enjoyed great weather and attracted an eager crowd. Plot holders turned up early in order to get best buys, but due to the high quality and number of donated plants, there was plenty of choice for everyone throughout the day.
Straw was popular as ever and sold out. The flowering annuals from Pentland Plants were as healthy and bee-friendly as ever, and polytunnels on site provided (thanks to the amazing efforts of a small number of individual plot holders) a whole array of veg plants ready for planting out. And that's not including the many donations that came from the many other plot holders keen to support the sale.
The tea and coffee stall was supplemented this year by such delectable home-baking yummies (thanks Alison and Esme) that we have been prompted to think about expanding next year's 'cafe' facilities!
We raised a magnificent £300+ that afternoon, which will be used towards the communal area planting this coming spring.
Many many thanks to all who helped on the day, who donated plants and who are already thinking about next year's sale at beginning May 2019.
Thanks also to Redhouse Nurseries and Pentland Plants for supporting our event.
Warriston Plant Sale, Sunday 23 April, 2017
Perusing plants at the sale
Photo: T. Bremner
The first Warriston plant sale gathered plot holders from all corners of the site. The car park was full. The sun shone. Tea and some really delicious tirimasu donated by a wedding party sustained us.
Trays and pots of plants were displayed in the ‘old leaf mould’ area, most carried (or in some cases, barrowed) away for bargain prices.
Many had been brought along by plot holders.
Tomato plants, red cabbage, kale, bergamot, marjoram, courgettes, lettuce, primulas, candy tuft, an apple tree, apple mint, spring onions, a variety of thymes, corn, globe artichokes, raspberries, evening primrose, violets were just some of the tempting offerings.
A small selection of potatoes, onion sets and shallots were also available for a late sowing.
Straw was delivered and donated by an east side plot holder (bales broken up to furnish strawberry and courgette beds) and fairly flew.
And as an added bonus, two nurseries provided us with lovely locally grown stock. Thanks so much to Redhouse Nurseries and Pentland Plants for supporting our event.
It was a good opportunity to try out the space which was the ‘old leaf mould’ heap as a communal gathering area. Now levelled and fenced, it was noted by a number of plot holders that it felt a very comfortable and welcoming space. Several confirmed their interest in the idea of growing fruit there, siting a couple of benches, as well as allowing space for events like the plant sale. If you agree or have other ideas/comments on this, please do get in touch through the contact page.
We hope to make the Warriston Plant Sale a regular on the calendar. Let us know if you have any ideas for improving/adding to the success of this year’s outing.