April 28, 2013

Plant sales in Maine

Watch out for the hook in this year's crop of plant sales – at some you can get heirloom varieties, at others a pie or even a puppy.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Plant sales pop up in Maine like dandelions in springtime.

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Scilla blankets an area outside the Tate House in Portland. Scilla and other blooms will be available at the museum’s plant sale.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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Pansies will be among the flowers and herbs at the Tate House Museum plant sale on May 18.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


PLANT SALES are as ubiquitous as daffodils during springtime in Maine. Here's a sampling of this year's sales:

SCARBOROUGH GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL PLANT SALE, 8 to 11 a.m. June 1, rain or shine, at the historic Hunnewell House on Black Point Road, half a mile from Route 1 in the Oak Hill area. Uncommon perennials as well as traditional favorites available. The club will accept potted and labeled plant donations 8 to 11 a.m. May 31 at the Hunnewell House. Perennials, annuals and vegetables accepted. For more information, email gardenz@maine.rr.com or call 956-2753.

20TH ANNUAL CUMBERLAND COUNTY MASTER GARDENER'S PLANT SALE, 8 a.m. to noon May 18 at the Barron Center, 1145 Brighton Ave., Portland. Herbs, vegetable seedlings, an extensive variety of perennials (including Perennial of the Year), houseplants and a large assortment of annuals. Gardeners can pick up shellfish compost by the bag or container. There will also be a bake sale, raffles of garden-related products and services, and sale of gently used garden tools. Talk to Master Gardener volunteers for tips and advice. Proceeds support the Seed Grant program for community projects such as school gardens and beautification projects. For more information, call 781-6099.

FOURTH ANNUAL PERENNIAL AND HERB SWAP, 10 a.m. June 13, rain or shine, at the Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center, 521 Main St., Damariscotta. Bring established perennials and herbs from your garden to share with others. Water-garden plants welcome. If you're bringing plants to swap, bring an extra sun-loving plant for the center's garden. If you're a new gardener and have nothing to trade, come anyway and donate $4 per plant to support the center's programs. For more information, call 563-1363.

SACO BAY GARDEN CLUB PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. May 18 at the Dyer Library/Saco Museum, 371 Main St. For more information, email Cathleen Fejedelem at veilchen@yahoo.com.

COASTAL HUMANE SOCIETY 11TH ANNUAL PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18-19, Coastal Humane Society, 190 Pleasant St., Brunswick. Annuals, vegetables, perennials and shrubs available. Bake sale included. All proceeds will benefit the animals by paying for supplies, veterinary care, etc. Donations of extra plants from your garden are welcomed -- mark the pots with the plant name, color and whether it prefers sun or shade, and drop them off at the shelter between May 13-17. If you can donate plants or would like to volunteer for the event, call Jane at 449-1366, Ext. 1, or email jsiviski@coastalhumanesociety.org.

LONGFELLOW GARDEN CLUB SPRING PLANT AND PIE SALE, 8 a.m. to noon May 18 at the North Deering Congregational Church, 1364 Washington Ave., Portland. The sale will feature perennials from members' gardens, baked goods, gently used garden items and geraniums. For more information, call Beth Addison at 797-8880.

SOUTHERN MAINE DAYLILY AND HOSTA SOCIETY ANNUAL PERENNIAL PLANT SALE, 8 a.m. to noon May 19 at Southern Maine Community College (2 Fort Road), horticulture building on Slocum Drive, South Portland. The plants are all from members' gardens. For more information, go to SMDHS.info.

BELFAST GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL GREEN THUMB PLANT SALE, 9 to 11 a.m. May 18 at the Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St., Belfast. The sale is a benefit for the club's community activities and its scholarship fund for higher education. Donations of plants and garden items are encouraged, and may be dropped off from 9 to 11 a.m. May 17 and from 8 to 9 a.m. May 18. Label plant donations with name of the plant and flower color. For more information, contact Karen Meisenheimer at 323-6360 or kjfrogster@gmail.com.

OSSIPEE MEADOWS GARDEN CLUB PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to noon May 25 at the historic Taylor House on Route 5 in Waterboro. Plants for sale include perennials, vegetable and annual seedlings, herbs, vines and houseplants, all donated by club members and local residents. Select perennials from the Taylor House gardens will also be available. For more information or to donate plants, call Donna at 247-3604. Proceeds benefit community projects and the club's scholarship fund.

TATE HOUSE MUSEUM HERB AND PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18 at 1267 Westbrook St., Portland. The sale will include perennials and herbs that are found in the museum's historic garden, which contains heirloom plants that would have been found in an 18th-century garden for medicinal, culinary and fragrance uses. There will also be some popular annuals for sale. Plants will be supplied by Broadway Gardens, museum volunteers and members. The museum gift shop will be open, and anyone who buys plants can tour the Tate House at a discounted rate. For more information, call Joan Hatch at 883-6449 or chefjoan@earthlink.net.

MORRISON CENTER ANNUAL GREENHOUSE SALE, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 16-17 at 60 Chamberlain Road, Scarborough. The sale will feature an assortment of geraniums, house plants, orchids, bedding plants, hanging plants and unusuals. Proceeds will benefit the Morrison Center's Seedling Program, which provides adults with disabilities the opportunity to grow plants and sell them to the community all year long. For more information, call 883-6680 or go to morrison-maine.org.

MAINE IRIS SOCIETY SPRING PERENNIAL PLANT AUCTION, 7 p.m. May 14 at United Methodist Church, 439 Park Ave., Auburn. For directions, go to irisgarden.org/mismain.html.

MERRYSPRING NATURE CENTER ANNUAL PLANT SALE, May 10-11, 30 Conway Road (behind Hannaford supermarket off U.S. Route 1), Camden. May 10 hours are 4 to 6 p.m., members only. Opens to public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11. Plants include roses, native plants, flowering vines and annuals, and more than 20 varieties of tomatoes. Call 236-2239.

MORRIS FARM PLANT SALE, 8:30 a.m. to noon May 18, 156 Gardiner Road/Route 27, Wiscasset. Heirloom tomatoes and perennials for sale. The sale benefits Morris Farm, a nonprofit educational farm that hosts a variety of educational programs and community events, plus a summer day camp for children ages 4 to 11. For more information about Morris Farm or the plant sale, visit morrisfarm.org, email info@morrisfarm.org or call 882-4080. 

BOWDOINHAM PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18 at the Bowdoinham Town Hall on School Street. Perennials, herbs, vegetable and annual seedlings, trees and shrubs. For more information or to volunteer, call Kate Cutko at the library: 666-8405.

BATH GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL PLANT SALE, 8 a.m. to noon May 11 at Library Park, Bath.

SOUTH PORTLAND LAND TRUST PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 18 at the American Legion Hall, 413 Broadway, South Portland.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE, 8 a.m. to noon May 18 at the Barron Center, 1145 Brighton Ave., Portland.

OLD YORK GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to noon May 18, rain or shine, at Grant House, 200 U.S. Route 1, York.

SCHOOL AROUND US PLANT SALE, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18 at 281 Log Cabin Road, Arundel (right before the Trolley Museum). For more information, call 967-3143.

COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDENS ANNUAL PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25-26 at the gardens on Barter Island Road, Boothbay. Features a variety of hard to find and unique perennials, native plants, boutique annuals perfect for container plantings, pre-planted containers and a limited number of plants propagated by the horticultural staff.

BUXTON GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL "FROM OUR GARDEN TO YOURS" PLANT SALE, 9 a.m. to noon May 11 at the intersection of Routes 22 and 202.

Most of them are fundraisers for good causes. The money that buys some hosta or a bunch of day lilies ends up paying for historic preservation projects or community beautification programs.

Here's a look at some of this year's sales. A more comprehensive list is at right.


Last week, volunteers at the Tate House Museum in Portland were potting plants for their annual sale and enjoying the spectacular royal blue blooms of scilla.

"Right now, it almost looks like a blue stream going through the garden," said Ginny Bishop, one of the volunteers.

The Tate House was built in 1755 for Capt. George Tate, a senior mast agent for the British Royal Navy. It has a historic garden that contains heirloom plants that would have been found in an 18th-century garden and used for medicinal and culinary purposes as well as for fragrance.

The museum's annual herb and plant sale, held the same weekend every year, helps maintain the garden.

"It's where we get our seed money, literally," Bishop said. "It's very important."

The sale paid for a new automatic irrigation system that was installed in the historic herb garden last year. Every herb had to be raised and re-planted, Bishop said, and for the first time in the history of the museum, some of the historical plants were sold. The volunteers sold several hundred more plants than usual that year.

"So this year we have decided that we will be thinning the rest of our collection," Bishop said. "We have a lot of things that, because they're old-fashioned varieties, they grow very profusely, and they grow better if they're thinned out a little bit."

There may also be a few heirloom roses for sale this year, unusual varieties on original stock that are hard to find.

The May 18 sale will also include some day lilies from the museum garden, common and modern varieties of herbs, and lots of plants donated by volunteers and members of the museum as well as Broadway Gardens.

During the sale, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the museum gift shop will be open, and anyone who buys plants can tour the Tate House at a discounted rate.


The Coastal Humane Society's plant sale has an ulterior motive.

Sure, they want you to pick up a bleeding heart. But they also hope you have one inside as well, because one of the objectives of this plant sale is to find homes for dogs, cats and maybe a couple of rabbits.

"If somebody falls in love with one of the animals we have at the sale, they can adopt right then and there," said Jane Siviski, marketing and development coordinator for the Brunswick-based organization. "They can totally leave with plants or kittens or whatever they fall in love with."

Siviski has high hopes for this year's sale, which is in its 11th year and will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18 and 19. The humane society has claimed a prime spot just off U.S. Route 1 -- 190 Pleasant St., a location that is much more highly visible than sale locations in the past.

Most of the plants have been donated by 15 to 20 nurseries and small garden stores. About a quarter of them are being contributed by a resident of Whitefield, Siviski said. There will also be a cookout, bake sale and raffles.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Courtesy photos One of the objectives of the Coastal Humane Society’s 11th Annual Plant Sale on May 18 and 19 is to find happy homes for the likes of Robbie ...

Courtesy photos

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... Penelope ...

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...and Chloe.

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