Mill Bay Plantaholics are holding a charity plant sale via email this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (submitted)

Mill Bay Plantaholics are holding a charity plant sale via email this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (submitted)

Here’s a sale for all you Cowichan plantaholics

The money will be used to support two important activities.

By Elaine Scott

For the past 15 years, the Mill Bay Plantaholics have held a plant sale in Mill Bay to support a variety of charities, and they will not be defeated in 2020 by COVID-19, though the sale will look a little different.

Originally scheduled for the Easter weekend, the in-person sale had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, but the plantaholics have come up with a way to continue to offer the sale through email.

Barb Kohlman, Sharon Martin, Ali Morris, Noreen Carver, and Elaine Scott have been very busy and a wonderful selection of plants will be available for sale.

The money will be used to support two important activities. 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. As well, Master Gardeners from the Victoria Master Gardener Association are always on hand to provide gardening advice. This year there will also be tables featuring drought tolerant plants and plants that are great for a pollinating garden, including 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 Malawi program supported by the sale is Atsikana Pa Ulendo (Girls on the Move). This program arose from the work of a Vancouver Island Woman (Christie Johnson) who worked in Malawi with a local Malawian teacher. 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 this 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. Information on Somenos House can be found at

The group is very concerned that the two organizations above continue to receive our support. We have worked out a way whereby you can still continue to buy healthy plants from us with no contact at all. If you are interested in buying plants and thereby supporting the two above organizations, just email Elaine Scott at She will send you an up-to-date plant list. You can determine what you would like to buy and email Elaine your order. She will make up the order, indicate how much money you owe and leave the order at the bottom of her driveway in Mill Bay just prior to the time and day you have indicated that you will pick it up. You can either pay by e-transferring her the money or leaving a cheque or cash in the box she provides. No contact — but you will be doing your part to support two deserving organizations while at the same time receiving healthy plants for your garden.

Elaine Scott is a member of the Mill Bay Plantaholics.