The Mill Bay Plantaholics are holding a COVID-safe version of their annual plant sale for 2021. (Submitted)

The Mill Bay Plantaholics are holding a COVID-safe version of their annual plant sale for 2021. (Submitted)

COVID can’t stop Cowichan’s Plantaholics 2021 sale

More than 1,300 plants have been potted up ready for sale.

By Elaine Scott

For the past 16 years, the Mill Bay Plantaholics have held a plant sale in Mill Bay to support a variety of charities, and though COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works, the group has persevered to bring the community the 2021 charity plant sale.

“Barb Kohlman, Sharon Martin, Ali Morris, Noreen Carver, Louise Neveu and Elaine Scott have been very busy, and a wonderful selection of plants will be available for sale,” said a press release for the event. In addition, Don Loewen and Wes Heinrichs have been busy in their workshops and have donated hand-made garden novelties to the sale.

Money raised will be used to support two charities. Part of the money will provide a secondary school scholarship for a young woman in Malawi, while the rest of the money will go to Somenos House in Duncan.

This annual plant sale has become well known to local gardeners as a source of healthy, interesting plants at a reasonable price. More than 1,300 plants have been potted up ready for sale. A wide array of plants will be available including drought tolerant plants and plants that are great for a pollinating garden.

“Don’t forget to include in your garden later flowering plants that are useful to provide food for the bees later in the season. It is important for us to try to conserve as much water as possible but also to feed our pollinating creatures as our local crops are so dependent on them,” the release reminds.

The Malawi program supported by the sale is Atsikana Pa Ulendo (Malawi Girls on the Move). This program arose from the work of a Vancouver Island woman (Christie Johnson) who worked in Malawi with a local teacher (Memory Chazeza Mdyetseni). The aim of the program is to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of young girls and women living in poverty and in so doing, spark a ripple effect of reduced poverty, illness, malnutrition, early marriage and gender bias. Many of these students after graduation become important role models and leaders in their communities. The contribution from the sale will provide an annual scholarship for one student. Information on the program can be found at

The second organization to receive proceeds from the plant sale is Somenos Transition House in Duncan. A program of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, Somenos House provides short term shelter and support when women (with or without children) need safety from violence and abuse. Providing a safe, supportive and quiet environment for women and children who are trapped in a violent situation is an extremely important program of a caring community. Information on Somenos House can be found at

The Plantaholics modified their annual sale last year due to COVID-19, and this year’s sale will be similar. If you were a customer last year you should have already heard from the group. If not, you can contact Elaine Scott at to have your name put on the customer list. You will be sent the plant list at the end of March. You can email your order and the orders will be filled in the order they are received.

There will be two pick-ups a week starting on April 17. The pick-ups will be Saturdays and Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Once you have been added to the customer list you will be emailed detailed instructions about pickup.

“So, please consider supporting two worthy causes while at the same time obtaining healthy plants at a reasonable cost while observing COVID guidelines,” the group said.

Elaine Scott is a member of Mill Bay Plantaholics.