What: The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s plant sale coincides with their spring farm festival, so families find botanical additions for home gardens as they frolic at the farm. Plant sale offerings include annuals, perennials and natives and shrubs purchased fresh from local nurseries, typically colius, pansies, impatiens, marigolds, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan and more.
Gain garnish for your garden, then hop a wagon hayride to the Potomac River and back, and try out cow milking, butter churning and wool spinning. Dine on barbecue and ice cream; listen to live music. Kids get their own fun: a touch tank, face painting and crafts.
Why: Make a family day of it as you shop for plants and kids play and learn; then the whole family enjoys a picnic concert. When you buy plants, funds help keep the farm’s formal gardens green all season long.
Where: Hard Bargain Farm: Accokeek in Charles County: From Route 301/Route 5 in Waldorf, take Route 228 west (intersection with Circuit City and Best Buy stores alongside). Continue on Route 228 to Route 210 north; veer right and proceed to the far left lane. Left on Livingston Road at the first traffic light. Travel about 100 yards and take a right on Biddle Road. At the stop sign, left on Bryan Point Road: 2.5 miles to the farm: 301-292-5665; www.fergusonfoundation.org.
Friends of Helen Avalynne at Tawes Garden
When: May 8 & 9, 10am-4pm
What: Just days before Mother’s Day, Tawes Garden bursts forth with blooms and flora for your home. Find a rainbow of annuals, perennials, aromatic herbs and ready-made hanging baskets. Help your mother get her vegetable garden growing with tomato, pepper and squash plants, all ready to transplant. Plus, amplify your maternal tribute with non-plant gifts.
Why: Mother will ooh and ahh over blossoming hanging baskets and vibrant flowers; you’ll get satisfaction from helping raise funds for Tawes garden Maryland in Miniature which depends on volunteer efforts.
Where: Tawes Garden, off Rowe Blvd., Annapolis: 410-260-8189.
Calvert County Master Gardeners
When: Sat. May 10, 8am-noon
What: Furnish your garden with healthy flora raised by Calvert County master gardeners. From the masters’ private collections come plants native and non-native alike, including perennials, shrubs, houseplants, butterfly attractors, vegetables and herbs. Shop early for spicebush, arrow-wood, sweet pepperbush and red osier dogwood.
Bring botanical oddities or photos of your ailing specimens to the plant clinic, where gardeners can help diagnose your plant problems.
Avid gardeners tote in old pots and trays for recycling and reuse.
Why: Get sage advice from master gardeners, who provide detailed planting instructions and label all that’s green with names and planting conditions for easy shopping. See what plants will look like later in the season with photos of each species at peak.
Where: Community Resources Building, 30 Duke St., Prince Frederick: 410-535-3662.
Historic Sotterley Plantation
When: Sat. May 10, plant sale 9am-noon; Plant exchange begins 10am sharp
What: Choose from a variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, small trees and bulbs, many of which come from private gardens of the Sotterley Garden Guild. Cuttings from Sotterly’s historic garden including heirloom peonies, phlox, lilacs, larkspur and poppies bring a bit of living history into your landscape. Mint connoisseurs acquire descendants of mint used to make mint juleps in the plantation’s heyday.
At 10am, join in the free plant exchange. Bring extra herbs, perennials, vegetables, seedlings, bulbs or seeds to swap.
Why: Gardeners can unload extra seeds, divided plants or an abundance of unwanted seedlings; greenhorn gardeners score small freebies. Proceeds help keep Sotterley’s Gardens growing year round.
Where: Historic Sotterley Plantation, off Rt. 245, 44300 Sotterley Ln., Hollywood, St. Mary’s County: 301-373-2280.
Chesapeake Beach Garden Club
When: Sat., May 10, 9am-1pm
What: The Chesapeake Beach Garden Club’s event is part plant sale and part flea market. For your garden, members dig and divide in their own collections to bring you colorful and healthy flora. It’s a casual, relaxed atmosphere where members typically bring tomato plants, irises of all colors, houseplants, pansies, petunias and more. You’ll also find herbs, bulbs, seeds and more, including bromeliads.
Buy transplants for the garden or blooming arrangements already potted.
Why: Proceeds benefit the Garden Club, which keeps town planters and gardens brimming with plants, as well as giving donations and advice to the elementary school’s reading garden.
Where: Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, at Rod ‘n’ Reel, Chesapeake Beach: Nancy @ 301-855-2919.
Historic Annapolis Foundation at the William Paca Garden
When: Sat. May 10 10am-4pm & Sun. May 11 noon-4pm
What: Gardeners browse a variety of heirloom flowers, vegetables, herbs, native trees and shrubs and flowering vines like purple hyacinth bean. Or buy catalogue seeds to start your own seedlings. Hanging baskets brimming with annuals are new this year, as well as unusual natives such as echinacea Pink Double Delight and eupatorium rugosum Chocolate. Historic Annapolis Foundation volunteers who patrol the sale to help you have nurtured the plants in their greenhouses.
Why: All proceeds help maintain the blossoming 18th-century William Paca Garden. Plus, acquire modern varieties as well as time-tested heirloom varieties bred from 17th century plants, like black hollyhock and a variety of tomatoes.
Where: William Paca Garden, special event entrance at 1 Martin Street in Annapolis: 410-267-8146; www.annapolis.org.
When: Year-round with special spring extended hours thru May 17: Mon.-Thurs. 8am-4pm; Fri. 8am-7pm; Sat. 9am-2pm.
What: The greenhouses of Providence Center which employs differently abled adults offers special spring selections. Greenhouse workers nurture hundreds of varieties of plants on-site, including annuals like geraniums, petunias, impatiens, marigolds and osterospernum (African daisies), plus houseplants, herbs, vegetables and some perennials. Homeowners with wet areas find wetlands plants and grasses in over 30 different varieties. Return throughout the summer for more seasonal flora.
On May 10, a Mother’s Day sidewalk sale includes hanging baskets full of greenhouse flowers, plus pottery, woodwork and crafts made by Providence Center crafters. Kids get a crafts table to make gifts for mother. (10am-2pm @ Park Plaza, near Bill Bateman’s restaurant off Rt. 2, Severna Park.)
Why: Meet the hardworking and friendly growers who work to keep plants growing in Providence Center’s greenhouse. Plus, your dollars go to keep plants and people growing.
Where: Greenhouses behind the Bradbury building, 370 Shore Acres Rd., Arnold: 410-757-7800.
Annapolis Horticultural Society
When: Sat. May 17, 7am-noon
What: At the last plant sale of the season, at the Anne Arundel Farmers’ Market, the Annapolis Horticultural Society offers botanical excess from members’ collections. Browse mainly native perennials mixed with deer-resistant plants, vegetables, tropicals, herbs and more.
This year, the club’s spotlight is on shrubs and trees, such as nandina, leucothoe, American cedar and aucuba. Arrive promptly. Early birds scoop up most plants between 7 and 9am.
Why: Shop for fresh local bounty and plan your garden in one shopping trip. Knowledgeable horticulture club members and Master Gardeners shed light on your gardening dilemmas.
Where: Anne Arundel Farmers’ Market, corner of Riva Rd. & Truman Pkwy., Annapolis: Tish @ 410-757-3130.
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