The Wilton Garden Club (WGC) will host its 83rd Mother’s Day Plant Sale with more than 4,000 plants for sale on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 on the Town Green (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.) — and an early-bird sale on Wednesday, May 10.

As the good number of new Wilton families, many coming from larger cities who may have lots of gardening questions, (as well as any other longtime residents), the WGC is eager to offer some helpful hints.

The following “Rules of Thumb” from some of WGC’s exceptional green-thumbed gardeners represent years of painstaking effort digging in the soil, moving plants around, and observing what works and what doesn’t.

  1. “Have a plan for your gardens and start small,” Sherry Johnson suggests. “When you are new to the area and have a large landscape, pace yourself and do one small area at a time or it will become overwhelming. And keep in mind that gardening requires a lot of experimenting and patience.”
  2. “Right plant, right place,” Lila Griswold reveals. “That means if you have sun-loving plants like coneflowers or black-eyed Susans, don’t plant them in a shady area. And if you have a plant that likes hot, dry conditions like bearded Iris, don’t plant them on a wet site.”
  3. “Don’t fight Mother Nature! If certain plants are happy in your garden, plant more of them,” Nancy Greeley advises. Likewise, she tells new gardeners to make peace with the fact that not everything they fancy will grow in their garden. “Don’t keep planting your favorites if they don’t like your garden.”
  4. You’re the boss. In Kim Young’s opinion, too many people fear their garden: “They’re hesitant to prune, divide, or move a plant even though they are unhappy with the way it looks. If a plant is bothering you, dig it up and either move it to a new location or give it away. Don’t let the problem persist, or before you know it your garden will be out of control.”
  5. “I’ve found that it’s better to plant on cloudy days with rain in the forecast rather than hot, sunny days because it’s cooler and lessens transplant shock,” Karen Murchinson says.
  6. Buy local. “If I get a plant from a Club member’s garden who lives down the road from me, the odds are it’s going to be as happy in my garden as it was in theirs,” Liz Riley points out. “However, if I buy a plant from a nursery, there’s no telling where it was grown. The climate and soil could be completely different from Wilton.”
  7. Jackie Algon sums it all up with her favorite Rule of Thumb: “Consider your garden a place for restoration of habitat for pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds by planting native plants, trees and shrubs. There will be less maintenance and water usage, and once established, your landscape will become a haven for you as well as for them.”

The Wilton Garden Club’s Mother’s Day Plant Sale will be held Friday, May 12, from 12-6 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., rain or shine at Wilton’s Town Green. An early bird sale will be held at the Club’s greenhouse at Wilton’s Comstock Community Center (180 School Rd.) on Wednesday, May 10, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For more information visit the Wilton Garden Club website or Wilton Garden Club Facebook page.