All along the atrium that rings Beasley Coliseum, rows of tables display pots of Cougar Red tomatoes, baskets of splashy begonias and fuschias, and four-packs of flower and vegetable starts. It’s the Washington State University Horticulture Club’s plant sale on Family Weekend in early April, and it is far too early for planting in Pullman.

For years, though, visitors from more moderate climes like Seattle and other places on the west side of the state have looked forward to browsing the plants and taking home their favorites. The plants were started and nourished in greenhouses around the WSU Pullman campus around 13 weeks before the sale. Later sales benefit gardeners from the state’s east side, when the planting season arrives.

Most of the proceeds from plant sales fund scholarships for horticulture students.

“If someone buys a hanging basket of flowers from us, if they water and fertilize, I can guarantee it’s going to perform better than almost anything else they buy,” Horticulture Club advisor James Holden (’73 Sci.) told Washington State Magazine in 2016.