Hundreds wait in line for final plant sale at Windsor’s Lanspeary Park

An estimated 150 people tried to beat the clock Saturday morning for the final plant sale ever at the aging Lanspeary Park greenhouses.

“The line was right from the back gate here all the way around Lanspeary Park around the outdoor rink and right to the corner of Ottawa and Langlois,” said City of Windsor Parks and Recreation Executive Director, James Chacko.

Pent up demand for plants brought hundreds more through the gates at the greenhouse complex for their chance to surplus grab plants, flowers and shrubbery for their yards. Most plants sold at the event were grown by the city’s horticulture staff.

“There’s great selection and great prices as well, so it’s great to be out here,” said Cara Particelli, who was in town visiting for Mother’s Day weekend.

All proceeds from the sale go toward beautifying the Park Martin Garden at Willistead Manor.

“The price and the variety and it’s helping out the rose garden at Paul Martin,” said Lisa Fantin, another loyal repeat customer. “I love that garden.”

Shayla Morgan came a bit later to skip the crowds from the early rush, scooping up a burning bush and spiral plant for her pond, happy to be back at the sale after a two-year COVID-related hiatus.

“We missed the least two years because it’s something we were looking forward to, and supporting our community,” Morgan said.

“After two years of COVID, to be able to see everybody out puts a smile on your face as well,” said Chacko, who admits those smiles are bittersweet as this marks the final year hocking plant matter at the aging greenhouse complex.

“Maybe a little tear that this place will be closing this year,” he added, noting the nearly century-old greenhouses will soon meet the wrecking ball.

Later this summer, plants and staff horticulturalists will move from the 11,000 square foot cluster of tiny grow houses over to the new 22,000 square foot greenhouse at Jackson Park.

“Certainly a lot of great memories have gone on at the various plant sales at this site,” said Chacko. “Staff, though, are very excited to be moving into their new location.”

The plant sale will continue at Jackson Park in 2023.