The Wilton Garden Club Mother’s Day plant sale has been a town tradition for 83 years. This year more plants than ever before will be offered, making it an ideal place to find the perfect gift for Mom.
While the Wilton Garden Club (WGC) plant sale has changed locations over its 83 years, from Old Town Hall in 1939 to Town Green at the Gazebo at present, two things have remained the same. First, it’s always held during Mother’s Day weekend, and second, its proceeds support philanthropic projects aligned with the Club’s cornerstones of conservation, education, preservation and beautification, all of which benefit Wilton.
This year’s Wilton Garden Club Mother’s Day Plant Sale will be held, rain or shine, at the Town Center Gazebo (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.) on Friday, May 12, from 12-6 p.m., and Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A greenhouse presale will be held at Wilton’s Comstock Community Center (180 School Rd.) on Wednesday, May 10, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Community engagement — part of the tradition
“The community is engaged year after year in this sale, in a lot of ways, and we are grateful for this,” plant sale co-chair Haiku Durden said. Foremost are the shoppers who come to the sale and purchase the plants every year, a tradition many of them say has been passed down from their parents.
In the 1990s Wilton Boy Scout troops started keeping overnight watch on the plants after some went missing, naming themselves the Flower Guard. Last year the Wilton Girl Scouts joined the Flower Guard, alternating sleepover nights with the Boy Scouts. During after-school hours, the scouts assist customers with carrying their purchases to their cars. Also, in past years Wilton Library has offered a place for members working the sale to complete related paperwork, and the American Legion has provided some much-needed coffee for members working at the sale.
The quantity and variety of the plants are key to the sale’s success.
“This year we’re offering an estimated 4,000 plants, more than any other year in our Club’s history,” WGC vice president Andrea O’Meara, who managed the plant collection, said. Shoppers can choose from thousands of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, Dahlia tubers, patio containers, designer baskets, wildflowers, flowering shrubs, and a great selection of lush, colorful hanging baskets. Having so many choices makes finding a gift for Mom easy and fun.
What makes WGC plants so special?
Many WGC plants such as annuals, herbs, vegetables, and those in WGC-designed patio containers are started from seed by Club members at the Comstock greenhouse and in members’ homes, a process that begins months before the sale.
Thousands of more plants are locally dug by members from each other’s gardens during the month leading up to the sale. The members then spend several weeks potting and caring for the plants at their homes. These plants are acclimated to the weather in Wilton — and since they thrived in members’ gardens, they’ll likely thrive with proper care in customers’ nearby gardens as well.
Further, unlike plants from some nurseries and big box stores that are often grown down south and juiced up with chemical fertilizers, WGC plants are natural. They are lush and green because they’re healthy and aren’t reliant on chemicals to thrive.
Last but not least, most WGC plants have a much larger, more established root ball than plants sold elsewhere. Plants from many stores are grown from a single plug, so it takes longer for them to settle in and get established.
Buying plants at the WGC plant sale supports the WGC and the local community.
The proceeds from the plant sale are used for WGC’s many philanthropic efforts which include:
- Maintaining most of the gardens in town (post office; Veteran’s Memorial; town sign at Rtes. 7/33; Schenck’s Island Chess Park; and Horseshoe Road Garden)
- Garden Therapy workshops with seniors at Comstock Community Center
- Holiday decorations throughout Wilton
- Holiday garden baskets to seniors through Wilton Social Services
- Charitable donations to nonprofits such as Norwalk River Valley Trail, Norwalk River Watershed, Wilton Historical Society, Wilton Library, Green Teens at Trackside, and Woodcock Nature Center, to name just a few.
WGC here to help
“Wilton Garden Club members know that standing in our plant sale’s ‘sea of green’ can be intimidating,” perennial plant sale co-chair Lindsay Fontana said. “We also understand that personalized attention at most garden centers is hard to find. So we’re eager to help our customers make good choices and connect them to the best plants for their needs. Our expert gardeners can offer design advice, suggest plant combinations, and explain the best way to use the plants.”
Admission to the WGC plant sale is free. The sale is held rain or shine. Checks and credit cards are accepted.
- Greenhouse Presale at Comstock Community Center: Wednesday, May 10, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Town Center Sale:
- Friday, May 12, 12-6 p.m.
- Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.