gcrfd plant saleMIDDLETOWN, NJ - Every year about this time, our garden club begins its preparations for its plant sale at the Little Red Schoolhouse on the corner of Dwight and Middletown Lincroft Roads. The banner on the white fence goes up; the big signs on Middletown Lincroft Road are placed into the earth. Discussions are held as to what plants will be featured and what will be done this year that wasn’t done last year.

In addition to the usual annuals and perennials that are procured from local nurseries, member-grown plants are also sold—and at very low prices. This year you may even find some houseplants grown by our members. If you have questions about a particular plant or wish to know what to grow in shady areas or sunny areas, members of the “Master Gardeners” will be on hand both days to provide the information you are seeking. If you find a new plant that you would like to try but are unsure of its needs, ask one of our members or a “Master Gardener”.

Veteran gardeners will tell you that there’s no better place to buy plants than at a local plant sale. Our aim is to please the customers while also raising money for the maintenance of the historic Little Red Schoolhouse. This year the Scotch Broom or officially, Sarothamnus scoparius, a perennial leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe, will be featured. It is a 4 to 6 foot deciduous shrub with year-round green stem color and yellow pea-like flowers. There are now varieties that may be taller with flowers that maybe be bicolor (red and yellow) or red-brown or reddish-pink and purple or orange and red. There are perhaps 100 or more varieties but most are not available in the U.S.—just enough to entice us to feature this shrub.

gcrfd scotch broomphoto: Scotch Broom

It needs full sun, does best in dry sandy soils and should be cut back after blooming. Its use in the landscape is as an accent or for your borders. It usually blooms in May and into June with the blooming being profuse and very showy.

In purchasing our member-grown plants, you are getting plants that are adapted for our area and you will get a garden that doesn’t look like every other garden around you.

This year, you will see the white tents go up in front of our Schoolhouse and the tables covered with plants. The Plant Sale will be on Friday, May 11, at 11 am to 6 pm and on Saturday, May 12, at 9am to 3pm. If you want a full selection, come early. The Plant Sale is held rain or shine so dress accordingly and prepare your car by putting an old blanket or another sort of covering on your back seat or trunk or back of your SUV. Payment is by cash or check—no credit or debit cards please.

Join us and take advantage of getting free expert gardening advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what makes it fun and makes it an event. Maybe you will like us enough to join our group.

You might even join us on May 15 for a presentation concerning “Dahlias” by Fred Carl at 10:30am at the Little Red Schoolhouse. He is sometimes called the Dahlia Lama-an expert on this beautiful tuber.

Finally, all of your dahlia growing questions will be answered in one place. Join us at the Plant Sale on May 11 or 12 and then on May 15 for the dahlia presentation.

We are a member of the Garden Club of New Jersey and have been in existence for more than 75 years. Call Nancy Canade at 973-452-4845 with any questions you may have--or just to let her know you are coming. Check out our Facebook page and like us.