The Garden Club Council’s Annual Plant Sale was recently featured in an article by gardening editor Amy Dixon in the Winston-Salem Journal. Text from the article is below:

Amy Dixon: Garden Club Council’s Spring Plant Sale

This time of year, we gardeners relish that there are so many opportunities to buy plants. One of these is coming up next week, hosted by the Garden Club Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Held inside the red barn at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the garden club council’s annual spring plant sale has an abundance of unique plants — many of which come straight out of members’ home gardens.

One of their biggest fundraisers, this spring sale helps the council provide grants to numerous projects throughout Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. The evidence of these projects are right under our noses all throughout the community — projects made possible by the foresight and grants provided by the council.

One of their 2017 projects is a donation of over $26,000 to the new Downtown Passageway Park. The park will connect Cherry and Trade streets, giving pedestrians a green space through which to walk. The grant money will be used for plant material for the park.

Over the past two years, grants have been given to the Robinhood YMCA Children’s Garden, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club garden, Messiah Moravian Church’s outdoor classroom, El Buen Pastor healing garden, numerous schools, and annual grants to Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful.

The council is a non-profit organization, as is the garden boutique they operate at Reynolda Village. The boutique, the spring plant sale, and other fundraising events help to keep the council primed to give back to the local community.

“We’re 22 garden clubs, we have over 860 members,” said Loy McGill, president of the Garden Club Council. “It’s a large group of individuals who come together to foster the same mission — a mission to preserve, to encourage education, environment concerns, conservation and beautification within our community. So it’s a whole lot more than just gardening.”

“Since 1972, (the garden boutique) has been located in Reynolda Village, right there at the greenhouse. That’s our largest fundraiser. Anytime you shop there you are supporting a non-profit organization, and 100 percent of the net profits of your purchase goes right back into the community.”

This year’s council’s plant sale is chaired by member Susan Gilmore. There are a few new things on tap for this year’s sale, including bare-root dahlia tubers, bulbs, and lilies.

“We have heirloom plants,” Gilmore said, “and there’s going to be a lot of perennials that people dig in their yards. What we really want to do is share our plants with people who have a love for gardening.”

Many council members contribute out of their personal gardens to provide product for the sale. As a particular plant spreads and matures, it only makes sense to share with friends, fellow gardeners and the community.

According to council members, the plant sale is always very organized. Attendees can expect to see plants separated according to classification and sun tolerance. Members are also on hand to answer any plant questions you may have.

Plants will include shrubs, small trees, perennials, bulbs, herbs, annuals and clumps of freshly dug tubers. Attendees can expect to find more unique selections, including trillium, ostrich fern, Solomon’s seal, arum, bleeding heart, rose campion and more.

“The public will be able to purchase at below-market prices items that are not available in the big box stores,” McGill said.

Gilmore and the council are enthusiastic and passionate about their fundraising goals, which allow them to help serve and beautify the community and educate future generations.

“Last year there were a lot of people who came to the plant sale with little kids,” Gilmore said. “It was really rewarding to explain to them what each plant is and what it looks like when it’s grown.”

The Garden Club Council’s spring plant sale will be 6 a.m.-1 p.m. April 22 inside the red barn at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. For best access, use the entrance off of 27th Street and follow the signs to the big red barn.

To see the online version of this article, click here.