Thursday, May 5, 2011

Perusing Plants at Society Sales

Succulent cuttings
A few items will never make it to the garbage after I'm done using them. Books and clothing- if there's a chance that someone will enjoy them as much as I did, why not pass them on? Plants are another one of those things. They're enjoyable to have around and they're living, growing things that will change through the seasons. The ladies in the Natick Garden Club agree with me on this point. Sharing plants from their gardens is important to them, and they hold an annual plant sale to do just this.

This month they are humming and hawing over the perfect selections from their gardens to divide and sell. Talk about hosta varieties, good groundcovers, favourite flowers and plant combinations fills the room quickly when the subject of the upcoming plant auction comes up at their meeting. They look forward to passing on the most beloved pieces of their garden, and delight in sharing hard-earned tips about their plants. Profits from their sale will benefit the garden club, through which they can exchange information and ideas about gardening on a regular basis.

I've always enjoyed perusing society plant sales, a dozen a season, to scout out unusual, sought after, and well cared for plants. If I'm stumped by any of the gems on the table, I can usually locate the plant grower, face poking out behind all the foliage at the back of the table. These enthusiasts have not shown up on a crowded Saturday or Sunday morning, rain or shine, to finagle me into a deal. They may be shy at first, but they are proud of what they've grown, and they want to ensure the best home for their plants. Starting a conversation with a plant grower about their favorite variety always seems to bring them to life. Before long the dialogue becomes animated with mimes of watering, clipping, blossoming, even sighs of relief for a job well done. I come home with arms full of plants, informational leaflets, and contact info from a number of growers, should I have any troubling questions.

After years of enjoying the spring sales from the buyer's side of the table, I finally have the opportunity this season to attend as a grower! No matter which side of the table I end up on, attending these sales has become one of the things that defines my growing season. Here are a few of the society plant sales that I hope to attend in my area this spring (click on the links for more information if you live in the area):

Natick Garden Club Annual Auction
Natick Community Organic Farm Spring Spectacular
Society Row Plant Sale with White Flower Farm presents Tomatomania
Lyman Estate Spring Herb Sale
New England Herb Society's 31st Annual Plant Sale
COGDesign Annual Plant Sale
Boston Natural Areas Network Spring Festival and Perennial Divide

There are numerous other local sales listed in my area at For information on garden clubs around the state, visit The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good plant sale! I'm attending two horticultural society plant sales in the week ahead and will be bringing some of my wood poppy to one of them. It is great to buy from the grower because you can find out exactly how the plant has performed and under which conditions. Have fun.


If there's one thing better than visiting gardens, it's talking about them. . .thanks for joining the conversation!