Clovis Botanical Garden Gears up for Annual Fall Plant Sale and Fair

By Carole Grosch | Reporter

Autumn is in the air. It’s time for the Clovis Botanical Garden’s Fall Plant Sale and Fair.  

The event, a great outdoor experience for the entire family, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is something for everyone. Admission and parking is free and the grounds are wheelchair accessible.

Partnering with the California Native Plant Society, the garden will be offering a wide variety of water-wise, drought-tolerant and native plants. For those who sign up at the membership table, there is a 10 percent discount on Saturday’s plant and gift shop purchases.

“To get the best selection, it’s best to arrive early,” said event co-chair Ree Coy. “We get all level of gardeners that come to the sale. We have boxes and plant holding areas, even volunteers who help carry out purchases. Fall is the perfect time to plant; we have “ask me” experts wearing special colored headbands for anyone who wants information.”

Also available will be the Fresno Cactus and Succulent Society with an informational booth at the event. The Master Gardeners will also be on hand as will the City of Fresno and City of Clovis with water usage information.

Two walking tours of the garden will be given; Susan Stiltz, horticultural consultant, will lead the first tour at 9:30, followed by president Anne Clemons, at 10:30.

Not all activities will involve gardening.

Local author Janice Stevens and artist Pat Hunter, owners of Gallery II, will be on hand with their new book, “Breaking Bread with William Saroyan.”  Copies of the book as well as beautiful prints from the book’s original watercolors will be available.

Reptile Ron, known for his educational and exciting animal presentations, will be on the grounds from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with a variety of safe-to-handle creatures. Included in his menagerie are snakes, monitors, tegu, chameleons, geckos, tortoises, tarantulas, birds and bugs. Ron showcases each animal by explaining its habits and answering questions. Kids are welcome to handle the animals.

Another kid’s event is the “make it, take it” table where children can learn about birds and make a peanut butter pine cone as a bird snack.

Food and beverages will be available. Liz Sanchez, owner of Casa de Tamales, will have her delicious tamales ready for lunch under the garden’s white canopy.

Established in 1993 by Gordon Russell as an educational vehicle for the community to learn about water conservation and local horticulture, the Clovis Botanical Garden is maintained by volunteers and supported through memberships, donations and grants. Located at 945 N. Clovis Avenue and bordered by Dry Creek Trail and Dry Creek Park, the three-acre demonstration garden is owned by the City of Clovis.

Thanks to the many volunteers and supporters, the garden continues to evolve and grow. The California Native Plant Garden was opened this past March, and additional areas are planned.

The function of the Home Demonstration area is “to demonstrate what people can do in their front and backyards, to give them ideas and to show you how it all goes together,” said Coy.

The Sensory Garden is the brainchild of volunteer Elsabe Kruger, and specifically addresses those with special needs. A water feature will be in the heart of the garden.

A Children’s’ Garden is in the initial planning stages.

Twilight Thursdays, a free event on Oct. 6, 2016, will present Uncle Ephus, a lively group whose music is set to the beat of a washboard and an old-time sounding banjo. Enjoy the toe-tapping music from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Clovis Community Foundation Pavilion. Feel free to bring a picnic dinner and chairs.

Looking for a special venue for that special event? The Pavilion can be rented by contacting the facility manager Sharon Jackson at 559-269-1906.

Group tours of the garden can be arranged by appointment. For more information, call (559) 298-3091, Monday through Friday.

The Clovis Botanical Garden is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Mondays, Tuesdays and select holidays. For more information about the plant sale and fair, contact Ree Coy at 559-349-1811.

For future events call (559) 298-3091 or visit clovisbotanicalgarden.org.