Sometimes a plant is more than a plant. And that is certainly the case when it comes to the Friends of Ledding Library’s 11th annual plant sale, on Saturday, May 10.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Audrey Trubshaw and Pat Hodgin show off the ladybugs, while  Heidi Peterson sets up the stepping stones to be sold at the plant sale on May 10.“Once a year, the library staff gives us a wish list for anything the budget won’t cover, and it gives us so much satisfaction to say yes,” said Audrey Trubshaw, who has been volunteering for the plant sale every year.

“This includes special programs, First Saturday concerts, summer reading programs for adults and children, and more,” she said.

“If kids get books because we sell plants, children will continue to read,” said Pat Hodgin, who has led the plant sale for three years.

All plants sold at the event are “established plants” that have been donated from local gardens and yards. All have identifying labels and are priced reasonably, likening it to a “garage sale plant sale.”

“Community support is awesome — we have Japanese maples, we have dogwoods, but we are in desperate need of more plants,” Hodgin said.

She urges anyone with spare plants in their yards or gardens to call her, saying that volunteers will take potted perennials, annuals, vegetables, shrubs, trees and indoor plants.

Noting that the sale is the day before Mother’s Day, Hodgin said, “We will also accept yard art, gift items, birdhouses and flower bouquets.

“We made almost $7,000 last year. This community is amazing when it comes to the library,” she said.

Everyone who works at the plant sale is a volunteer. “I love my library and I love our city; I believe in community,” said Heidi Peterson, who has been with the sale for nine years.

People should come to the plant sale, Hodgin added, “to support the library and get inexpensive, beautiful plants.”

Ladybugs, stepping stones

It is hard to come up with something new and fun to set a plant sale apart, but Trubshaw and Hodgin have done just that with the addition of handmade ladybugs and stepping stones, providing an artistic touch to a yard or garden.

Milwaukie Bowl donated about a dozen bowling balls, which Trubshaw turned into cheerful ladybugs, complete with antennas.

“Pat saw the idea on Pinterest, so I spray-painted the bowling balls, and used acrylic paint for details. Then I sprayed them with acrylic sealer, so they are perfect for outdoor garden art,” Trubshaw said. The ladybugs, priced at $20 each, will sell out quickly, she predicted.

Hodgin meanwhile has been hard at work making decorative concrete stepping stones from scratch, using tiles she acquired from SCRAP in Portland, along with glass beads, broken china and even keys. They are priced at $12, and there are only 30 of them, she said.

What keeps these women and all the other volunteers going all these years?

“This event is everlasting. It is fun to have somebody else’s plant in your yard; it’s like a memory garden,” Peterson said.

“This is a wonderful way to give back, and the group of library volunteers is just fabulous. The plant sale is a lot of work, but I can’t imagine not doing it,” Hodgin said.

And there are more ways to support the library, Trubshaw noted, adding, “There is the Pond House Used Bookstore, open Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the book booth at the Milwaukie Farmers Market, open Sundays, starting May 4, and the June book sale at the Waldorf School, on June 20 and 21.”

Get growing

What: The Friends of Ledding Library 11th annual plant sale

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10

Where: Ledding Library Pond House, 2215 S.E. Harrison St., Milwaukie

More: To donate plants or other appropriate items, or to volunteer for the plant sale, contact chairwoman Pat Hodgin at 503-502-2888.

The Friends of Ledding Library is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds benefit the library. All donations are tax-deductible.

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