VanDusen’s Well-Contained Plant Sale

Choose from more than 40,000 plants and learn a thing or two about container gardening at this year's sale.

Credit: istock/gaffera

Sunday, April 26th is a green letter day on the calendars of most gardeners. It marks the annual VanDusen Plant Sale when more than 40,000 plants are offered for sale. To keep things interesting from year to year, the Plant Sale Committee chooses an annual theme. This year is no exception – highlighting The Well-Contained Garden.

The Well-Contained Garden offers recommendations for plants that are suited to containers and small space gardens. But, don’t worry, you’ll still find tons of non-container plants at the sale.

“With so many people living in apartments and town-houses, we thought it would be a good idea to show the variety of plants that can be grown in containers. Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to go without a garden,” says plant sale chair, Merlyn Royea.

Take the tree section for instance. Trees aren’t something that readily comes to mind when thinking of container plants.  And Many people don’t realize that perennials make great container plants including the dwarf phlox Phlox paniculata ‘Pixie Miracle Grace’ which only reaches 16” tall.

With all the interest these days in urban agriculture, it’s good to keep in mind that many edibles grow very nicely in containers. Whether you are planning to turn your patio in a vegetable patch or have a small potager garden on the balcony, the Herbs and Vegetables Section has loads of wonderful, tasty plants to temp you.

For neophyte gardeners, or those looking for new ideas, the Master Gardeners will be conducting four on-site Container Gardening Workshops at 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the Lath House. Some of the plants used in the Workshop will be supplied by various Plant sale sections and will be easily obtainable on the day. For those not available at the Sale, the MGs will have a list of suppliers available.

To make your shopping experience easier, it is suggested you bring a wheelbarrow, wagon or even a ‘Blue Box’ in which to transport your purchases.

VanDusen Botanical Garden would also like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of the 150th St. Stephens Scout Troup. Most Plant Sale attendees do not realize that this enthusiastic crew pitch their tents on the knoll behind the Lath House and ‘guard’ the Plant Sale from Friday night through its opening on Sunday morning.

The Plant Sale is one of the major fundraisers for VanDusen Botanical Garden, a registered charitable non-profit. For more information on VanDusen Botanical Garden and its events, the public are invited to call our 24-hour Information Line at 604-878-9274 or visit our web site at