Springfield Garden Club plant sale to open shop in Quadrangle

SPRINGFIELD — Customers at the Springfield Garden Club’s annual plant sale can purchase plants that may have been sown from seed or started as cuttings from existing plants.

“Whatever the source of the plants, buyers can be assured that these plants have been lovingly grown and nurtured by our club members,” said Carol E. Nicholson, president of plant sales.

The sale will take place rain or shine on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Springfield Museums campus, 21 Edwards St., Springfield.

A springtime tradition and the main fundraiser for club scholarships, this is not the kind of plant sale that focuses on reselling plants from wholesale growers. The types of plants available for sale will include native New England plants, perennials, annuals, shrubs, saplings, ground covers, herbs, vegetables and berries. There will be high-end plants such as houseplants and hanging baskets. Most high-end plants are donated by local garden centers.

A vintage boutique of unique items such as containers, gardening tools, decorations and books will also be on display.

“The plants we offer for sale have the particularity of coming from the gardens of club members. Club members are educated and dedicated gardeners who are always on the lookout for new varieties of plants and better ways to grow or display them,” said Nicholson. “Members are particularly keen to cultivate native plants, which are most attractive to pollinators and therefore beneficial to our local ecology.”

Additionally, this year club members took extra care in repotting their plants by first washing the roots and using sterile soil to eradicate the spread and presence of Asian jumping worms or their eggs. “In recent years, these worms have become invasive and harmful to the environment as they consume valuable nutrients in the soil that are necessary for the healthy growth of plants and trees,” she explained.

Plant prices for sale are usually around 20% lower than prices found in commercial garden centers or department stores. Examples of possible prices range from: $2 for a single ground cover like pachysander, $12 for a six-pack of English ivy, or $11 for a tall perennial like phlox.

The garden club has 107 members, including five honorary members and one life member; about a dozen of them are master gardeners.

Part of the club’s mission is “to create interest in the art of gardening and to stimulate the promotion of civic beauty through horticulture and conservation”.

According to Beate Bolen, former president of the gardening club, the best way to do this is to educate the public through programs and speakers and to encourage future leaders in the fields of conservation, horticulture and environmental awareness by helping to fund scholarships for high school seniors or undergraduate or graduate students majoring in a full-time plant science or environmental studies program, such as horticulture, floriculture, landscaping, conservation, forestry, botany, agronomy, plant pathology, environmental control, land management or other related fields.

Applicants must be residents of Hampden County and of adequate academic standing.

Financial need is one of the determining factors in the awarding of scholarships.

Through proceeds from past plant sales, the club has awarded over $70,000 in scholarships to students over the past 30 years.

For more information, visit springfieldgardenclubMA.org.

Event: Springfield Garden Club Annual Plant Sale

When: Saturday June 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Or: Springfield Museum Park, 21 Edwards St., Springfield

Advantage: Scholarships

For more information: To visit springfieldgardenclubMA.org

Laura J. Boyer