CH master gardener helps organize annual benefit plant sale

Lois Rose at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, on a chilly May day.

For even the most casual of gardeners, purchasing new plants is among the many rites of spring.

In Greater Cleveland, one of the most anticipated spring plant sales is the annual Master Gardener (MG) Plants in the Park sale, which will take place this year on June 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 6363 Selig Drive, Kiwanis Pavilion, in Independence. The event offers free admission, and plenty of parking.

Lois Rose, a Cleveland Heights resident and master gardener volunteer, is one of the organizers of this year’s sale, which benefits the programs of the Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County.

“Plants at the Plants in the Park sale come mostly from the gardens of master gardeners, while annuals come from Green Circle Growers [in Oberlin]. There will be a wide variety of plants—perennials, herbs, annuals, shrubs, trees, houseplants and vegetables,” said Rose. “Plants will be priced from $1 to $10, with some a bit more if they are very large or unusual. There are also wonderful containers filled with annuals created by MGs.”

The organizers strive to offer non-invasive, native plants at the sale. “We want to promote plants which will not prove to be invasive in the landscape,” explained Rose. “Some examples of invasive plants would be Loosestrife, Vinca, Buckthorn, Star of Bethlehem—we will have many interesting alternatives to these plants, including Echinacea (purple coneflower), Liatris (Blazing Star) and Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan).

“We try to insure that all plants are labeled with pertinent information, such as bloom time and details of how to grow. Thousands of plants disappear quickly at the sale, and there is always a line before the sale opens at 9 a.m. Master gardeners are there to answer questions, and help carry your purchases.”

A master gardener since 1998, Rose has lived in Cleveland Heights since 1976, and is a retired clinical psychologist. She is a co-leader of the Hampshire Road Community Garden, where she has been gardening since 1979.

“I have loved plants and growing things since I was three years old,” said Rose, who described herself as “basically an information specialist” in the master gardener program. “I answer questions at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and at the North Union Farmers Market on Saturdays, and on the telephone hotline (216-429-8200, ext. 235; call Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) once a month.” She also gives talks on garden-related topics at Tri-C and for garden clubs.

Rose will be one of the many MG volunteers who will be answering questions at the plant sale—from behind a reference table and also walking around and finding people who might need help making plant selections, or have questions about their own plants.

For more information about this year’s Plants in the Park sale, and about Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County, visit

Kim Sergio Inglis

Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener volunteer.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 11:08 AM, 05.29.2015