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Hundreds attend annual Paris Horticultural Society plant sale

Local NewsHundreds attend annual Paris Horticultural Society plant sale

Over 200 community members stopped by the Paris Horticultural Society’s (PHS) annual plant sale at the Syl Apps Community Centre in Paris on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

With roughly 1,500 plants available for purchase, nearly 60 to 70 people were up bright and early to secure their spot in the line before the doors opened at 8:00 a.m.

Inside, shoppers were able to browse and buy a variety of non-invasive perennial and annual plant species including heirloom vegetables, herbs, flowers, trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses and several other native plants.

Residents browse a large selection of decorative grasses and ferns during the Paris Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Nancy Burkholder, PHS past president, pointed out that two of the most interesting plants up for grabs were a Fernleaf peony and a potted lemon tree grown from seed by Master Gardener, Anne Saunders.

Throughout the event, numerous garden enthusiasts kept Saunders busy as they took the opportunity to ask her for tips and tricks on how to best transplant and care for their new plants.

Because all the vegetation varieties were donated from most of the 93 society members’ personal gardens, guests were also able to chat and ask them questions as well.

Tamara Neely helps Marley O’Connor pick out a sticker for his succulent plant during the Paris Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

While many parents in attendance shopped for their garden or picked up tickets to the PHS annual garden tour, their youngsters took the opportunity to stop by the Jr. Gardeners Corner where PHS member, Tamara Neely, helped them plant their own seeds or succulents to take home for Mother’s Day.

As so few plants were left by the end of the morning, the end-of-sale auction was held earlier than expected and several guests were able to scoop a few extra plants for a lower price.

One resident takes stock of her plant haul during the Paris Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Burkholder and Carol Reansbury, co-president of PHS, have been organizing the event together for the past eight years and the two noted that the annual sale is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year for their non-for-profit volunteer organization.

“All of the funds raised here will be going towards several projects around town including planting and garden maintenance around Paris,” said Reansbury. “And because our mandate is education, we also get to award an annual bursary for graduating students from Paris District High School who are going into horticulture, environmental science or agriculture.”

The Paris Horticultural Society has been up and running since 1986 and together, members maintain the Paris Cenotaph Gardens and the Garden of Hope. As well, they hold monthly meetings with guest speakers, host several plant sales, flower shows and an annual garden tour.

Shoppers inspect various plant varieties during the Paris Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Patti Gladding, PHS co-president, said that while their goal is to promote horticulture and education, the society is also all about engaging with the community.

“I think a big part of our mandate is really community outreach,” she said. “We have a lot of new community members these days and PHS is really just a lovely club where we can all learn new things and meet new people, you know?”

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