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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In the Garden: Friends of Manito Plant Sale helps keep gardens looking good

These hostas form a green tapestry while waiting for gardeners to take them home during The Friends of Manito spring plant sale, which will be held on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nearly 40 hosta varieties will be available  (Susan Mulvihill)
By Susan Mulvihill For The Spokesman-Review

Spokane residents love Manito Park. It’s where we bring visitors, have picnics and enjoy its peaceful setting. Some favorite areas include Duncan Gardens, Ferris Perennial Garden, Rose Hill, Mirror Pond and the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden.

It’s a good thing the Friends of Manito love the park just as much because their fundraising efforts help preserve the park for all to enjoy. On Saturday they will hold their spring plant sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. just east of the Gaiser Conservatory.

The sale will include perennials, vines, houseplants, garden decor and edible plants. To illustrate the diversity of offerings, I have highlighted some special selections below.

Anemone multifida (windflower) – With its carmine-red blossoms and fernlike foliage, Rubra is sure to create an accent in your garden. It also attracts pollinators, is drought tolerant and deer resistant. Rubra grows in full sun to part shade and reaches a height of 12 inches. Hardiness zone 2.

Aquilegia (columbine) – This delightful flowering perennial is a must for the spring garden. Black Barlow features deep purple blooms while Leprechaun Gold has somewhat lighter blossoms with green-and-gold leaves. Both grow in full fun to part shade and are about 24 inches tall. Hardiness zone 2.

Astilbe (false goatsbeard) – If you’ve got part shade, this is a great choice. Black Pearls has stunning purple flowerheads, Color Flash Lime provides an accent with its lime-green foliage and bright pink flower spikes, and Ice Cream delights with soft pink blooms. Heights range from 12 to 24 inches. Hardiness zone 3.

Chelone (turtlehead) – These plants are admired for their two-lipped flowers. The blossoms on Hot Lips are pink while Black Ace has white flowers and eye-catching dark green foliage. They’ll grow 24 and 48 inches tall, respectively. Hardiness zones 3 and 5.

Clematis – There will be plenty of these much-loved vines at the sale. Look for the more petite Stand By Me Lavender with a height of just 34 inches and Blue Explosion, which climbs up to 9 feet. Both thrive in full sun to part shade. Hardiness zones 3 and 4.

Echinacea (coneflower) – This sun-loving perennial attracts pollinators, provides seedheads during the winter for birds, is drought tolerant and deer resistant. Check out Firefinch, Rainbow Sherbet, Solar Flare and Strawberry Mousse. Hardiness zone 4.

Paeonia (peony) – Who doesn’t love blousy peony blossoms this time of year? Look for Itoh Coral Sunset, First Arrival, Paul M. Wild and Itoh Cora Louise. They’ll grow about 24 inches tall and prefer full sun to part shade. Hardiness zones 3 to 4.

Plant sale co-chair Gabi Tilley puts a lot of thought into the plants she brings in for each sale.

“My biggest focus is to offer a great variety of plants that are hard to find elsewhere,” she said. “I try to bring in plants with unusual leaf colors or textures and I make sure they’re hardy for the Inland Northwest.”

All proceeds from the spring plant sale will support Manito Park improvements. Members of the Friends of Manito will receive 10% off their plant purchases; new members can join during the sale.

Susan Mulvihill is author of “The Vegetable Garden Problem Solver Handbook” and “The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook.” She can be reached at Watch this week’s video at