Garden Club hosts 42nd annual plant sale

The Olde Ripton Garden Club held its 42nd annual plant sale from 9 to noon Saturday for the second time.

This was the second plant sale of the year for the garden club, which was hoping that more people would want to come out on a nicer, warmer day than on the rainy days two weeks prior, the club’s president, Renee Protomastro, said. Despite the rain earlier, she said, lots of people came out to support the club and its event.

“The amount [of people] we got in the rain was incredible,” Protomastro said. “People came out with umbrellas. A lot of people have this date in the back in their people. A lot of people get excited. It’s good community service.”

The plants, ranging from Japanese maple tree to hostas, all came from members’ gardens and were priced at either $3, $6, $8 or $15, according to Protomastro.

“This is the major fund-raiser for the club. Whatever we make on the plants, it goes right back to gardens around the town, [including] on the green, the high school, post office,” Protomastro said. “This is how we make money to do that. We all love gardens and plants. Everyone has something different to offer.”

This year was the first year that the club used a preorganized trailer bed to keep the sale running smoothly and calmly, Promomastro said.

“This year is our best year because Renee [Marsh, master gardener] had this great idea of the trailer which we prepared the plants a week before [the sale],” Protomastro said. “We were all ready to load up [the trailer] and bring them all over in the morning instead of the chaos of each person bringing something. We used to just unload our cars with everything. Some people didn’t mark what they bought and this made it much better.”

They were also selling the official town flower, Rudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, which the garden club was credited as making Shelton’s flower, Protomastro said.  

“We went to the Board of Alderman and we made a recommendation. They approved and made it officially the city flower. This is the third year selling it”, Protomastro said. “It’s good for the birds and bees [because] it is s a great pollenatior. The bees are in trouble and we got to help them”  

The vibe of the sale was very cheerful, Alfreda Mozdzer, treasurer of the Olde Ripton Garden Club, said.

“A lot of people get their plants for their gardens and we make money for the club. We enjoy the time together,” Mozdzer said.

The club also hoped to find new gardeners who would want to join their organization, Promomastro said. The more members they have, the more they can do.

“I love gardening and I thought I could learn from the experts, and I have,” Ruth Pesavento, a new member who works with the Shelton High Garden, said. “I have been here over a year now. I completely feel included. It’s a wonderful group. If you like garden and don’t have a lot of knowledge, there are a lot of people who will help you.”