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Believing in tomorrow: Garden club brings back pre-pandemic fundraiser

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Apr 16, 2021

Coneflowers, such as those pictured here, will be on sale at Trinity Episcopal Church on May 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” according to Audrey Hepburn. That positive, futuristic mindset is driving the Potomac-Mecklenburg Garden Club this spring, as it plans to bring back its annual plant sale on May 1.

According to club member Esther Murphy, the sale was not able to be held last year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The Potomac-Mecklenburg Garden Club will revive a long-running tradition this year — their annual plant sale,” Murphy said.” In 2020, the sale was canceled, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The sale has been traditionally held at the beginning of May, in time for Mother’s Day purchases and late-spring planting, Murphy indicated.

“One of the first sales was held more than 30 years ago on The Wall in front of McMurran Hall in the center of Shepherdstown, featuring a selection of miniature roses,” Murphy said, mentioning the fundraiser location changed to its current placement the very next year. “Twenty-nine years ago, the sale moved to the grounds of Trinity Episcopal Church, with a greatly expanded selection of plants. As the club has grown, the sale has expanded, and the morning of the sale often finds customers lined up on the sidewalk waiting for the clock to strike nine o’clock and the gates to open.”

As in previous years, the sale will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in front of Trinity Episcopal Church. The plants on sale at the fundraiser will also remain consistent with those sold in the past.

“The sale will feature a large selection of perennials and small shrubs from members’ own gardens and those of friends. Shoppers can expect to find popular natives, such as coneflowers, twin leaf and bee balm, a wide variety of spring and summer blooming perennials, ornamental grasses, flowering shrubs and more, all at modest prices,” Murphy said. “In addition, there will be a selection of unusual annuals and herbs from a local nursery.”

Those who are in need of gardening advice, whether they are starting or expanding a garden, will be able to get free help at the fundraiser.

“Club members [will] staff a table to answer general gardening questions and provide growing tips for customer’s purchases [in front of Trinity Episcopal Church],” Murphy said. “A selection of free gardening pamphlets and educational materials will also be available.”

Proceeds from the sale will once again be used to fund a college scholarship for a local high school senior, as well as book donations to local school libraries. Purchases also enable the club to continue its efforts to beautify the community and contribute to local conservation projects.

For more information about the sale or the club, contact Nancy Kautz at kautzenator@gmail.com.