It's a Tarvin tradition – like the Christmas market, the apple pressing day and the fete, the Spring Plant Sale, run by the Community Woodland Trust is a landmark in the village's calendar. Always in Mid-May (this year's will be next Saturday) and always on the forecourt of the Methodist Chapel, the sale produces a wonderful (if short-lived) riot of colour on the High Street.
The range of plants available is always huge and, because the woodland folk have raised most of the plants themselves, the prices are exceedingly competitive. There is the additional benefit that good advice can be obtained from the lady gardeners on hand.
The Woodland Trustees will be on hand, too, but, when it comes to horticulture, they may not be your first-choice of advisors! They are, however, always happy to discuss the progress of the woodland with you – or sell you a raffle ticket.
The two-hour sale provides a huge chunk of the cash needed to run our woodland – and a successful plant sale makes looking after Tarvin's own woodland so much easier. We have recently received another grant of £1,000 from the Parish Council to help us pay our bills this year. Most of the grant will be spent on renewing the Woodland's Public Liability insurance for another twelve months, with the remainder being used to buy some of the fuel used to mow the woodland.
All of the rest of the cash we will need (for fencing, signs, tools, safety equipment, plants, expert contractors, and so on) has to come either from donations (and Tarvin people can be very generous) or from fundraising – of which the plant sale is by far the major part.
Please pop in on Saturday morning and have a look at what's on offer. I'm sure you'll be impressed and I think it most likely that you will find a "must-have" plant amidst those thronged on the crowded tables.
The Chapel enters into the spirit of things, too. While we're selling plants outside, John Davies and his merry men, working in the Chapel kitchen, will be flooding the High Street with the smell of cooking bacon! JD's Famous Bacon Rolls are a delicacy not to be missed and, when washed down with a cup of the Chapel's excellent tea or coffee, they make the ideal break from re-stocking your garden with bargain plants. The Chapel will also have cakes on sale, for those with a sweet tooth.
Saturday is one of Tarvin's 'special' days – and a day that can make a huge difference to the funding of our woodland through the next year. Do come along if you can. I'm sure you'll be impressed! And we'll be immensely grateful for your contributions.