There were two big questions for Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Spring Native Plant Sale on April 22. The first question was: will we still get a big turnout when there were so many other Earth Day events to choose from? The second question was: would the storm predicted for the afternoon materialize?
The sale started at 9:00am and by 9:15 am the answer to the first question was clear as more and more people arrived to shop for native plants. The main parking lot filled up quickly with cars, and even the overflow parking was nearly full by mid-morning. All four nurseries and the volunteers helping them were kept busy answering questions and helping people find the right plants. Some shoppers arrived with a list of desired plants, while others relied more on browsing the large selection of natives. Many people also took time to stop by the booths of Loudoun Wildlife and our partners.
That left the weather question. Rain had been predicted the previous weekend that resulted in just a few drops, so perhaps we would be lucky. As the clouds and wind gathered and dispersed throughout the morning, we were hoping that the rain would hold off until after the sale closed at 3:00 pm. But shortly after noon, weather alerts were popping on on people’s phones, and the radar was showing a large storm heading our way. If it was just rain, we could tough it out, but not lightning with no place large enough for all of us to take shelter. By 1:00pm the decision was made to end the sale and pack up everything as quickly as we could. The last plants were being loaded on the trucks as the storm swept in with rain, thunder and lightening.
This is the first time we’ve had to end the sale early since the Native Plant Sale begin in 2010. We hope for better weather at our fall sale on September 9.