Spring plant sales put on by garden clubs and nonprofits are a good place to stock up on plants at low prices while supporting community causes. Coming up:
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center: This intentional community, which teaches sustainable living skills, offers many heirloom vegetables and unusual varieties of plants from Asia and South America as part of its mission to protect biodiversity. Its spring plant sale is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday (April 5-6) as well as April 12-13. The summer plant sale is held May 3-4. From May 17 to June 22, the center's nursery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends for sale of perennials only. 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental. 874-1557.
Willowside School: This plucky little nursery, a laboratory for students, offers an impressive selection of plants, many donated. Shop for abutilons, salvias, roses, grasses, small Japanese and Trident maples, deodar cedars, redwoods, cypress, bonsai crabapples, quince, elms and succulents. $3 per gallon container. Red/yellow magnolias up to 6 feet tall run from $25 to $40. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (April 5), April 26, May 17, June 7 and June 28. Rain or shine. 5299 Hall at Willowside roads, Santa Rosa. 569-4724.
Santa Rosa Men's Garden Club: Members grow all the plants offered at this sale, at which the star attractions are tomatoes ($1 each) and geraniums ($4 a plant). Many other plants and specialty plants, including house plants, sell for $3-$5 in 1-gallon containers. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday (April 11); 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12 at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa.
Green Thumb Garden Club: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12. Held at Cloverdale Boulevard at First Street, Cloverdale.
Sonoma County Jail Industries Nursery and Teaching Garden 20th Anniversary Plant Sale: Low-risk inmates learn vocational skills by working in this garden and nursery, including growing all the plants without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They offer a wide range of plants, from trees, shrubs and perennials to vines and grasses. They also sell wooden planters, picnic tables and barbecue rings. The Sonoma County Master Gardeners have created a demonstration garden featuring “Sonoma Superstars,” plants that are drought-tolerant and available for sale. Master Gardeners will also be on hand to help customers select plants. 9 a.m. to noon April 12 and May 10. 2254 Ordinance Road at Airport Boulevard, Santa Rosa. 525-8310.