The Brantford Garden club hosted its annual plant sale at the Lions Park auditorium in Brantford on Saturday, May 27, 2023
Approximately 400 guests attended the annual plant sale for a chance to browse and buy from a selection of over 3000 plants.
“We sold shrubs and trees, perennials, annuals, vegetables – we had everything. I think that there were at least 3000 plants, maybe more,” said Ed Hewitson, President of the Brantford Garden Club. “People were lined up from the entry door all the way back into the parking lot before we even opened at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. We probably had 300 to 400 people during the day at least.”
Shoppers could also pick up herbs, ornamental grasses, indoor plants, specialty plants, small garden tools and garden décor.
Volunteers made up of club members and board members spent Friday sorting, pricing and setting up the items for sale after local growers and garden club board members stopped by to donate their plants before the sale began.
The sale runs once a year near the end of May and is the garden club’s largest fundraising event.
Organizers are still counting, though Hewitson guessed that they raised upwards of four thousand dollars.
“I want to give a big thank you to everybody for helping out and making this a success for us,” he said. “We don’t have an exact total yet, but before our expenses I would think we’re somewhere between four and five thousand dollars – that’s my guestimate.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser go back into the club, allowing them to pay for their monthly guest speakers and to give back to the community.
“We use the funds around the community and things like the hospice garden,” said Hewitson. “We have a perennial garden and vegetable garden at the hospice here in town, so they can go grab flowers and cut them for the place, and they grab veggies to make up plates for the people in the hospice.”
The Brantford Garden Club is the oldest of its kind in the province of Ontario and will celebrate its 171-year anniversary since starting up in 1885.
Its main objectives are to encourage an interest in horticulture, teach people about gardening and to promote the protection of the environment. The club also sponsors two students a year to help assist them with their studies at the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture.
For those who are interested, but have never started a garden before and don’t know where to start, Hewitson said to not be afraid.
“It’s a good way to eat healthy and provide your own family and friends with extra food,” he said. “I know a lot of people grow things and are forever sharing with people. As far as getting started with growing, don’t be afraid to just ask questions because there’s all kinds of people around that would be more than willing to let you know how to do something and what you will need to do it.”