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Flower power — Garden Club’s Gala attracts a crowd

February 22, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Individuals started gathering at the Garden Club Park Saturday morning an hour before the Garden Gala was set to open to find the best deals and plants to take home for their yards.

Dottie Kernaghan, who was in charge of the club's plant table, said they were really busy Saturday morning. She said they had three times as many plants when the gala began that morning as she looked at the tables around noon, three hours into the event.

"It is always busy at the plant sale," Kernaghan said.

Article Photos

Meghan McCoy

ColorField Farm had an array of flowering plants to choose from.

The club's plant tables were packed full, as well as the ground underneath them, with plants that the Garden Club members grew in their own yards throughout the year.

People began flooding the park at 8 a.m., which became incredibly busy by 8:30 a.m. Kernaghan said around 9:30 a.m. the crowd began easing off again.

Her helper, Garden Club recording secretary Rita Davis, said the prime plants that everyone was after sold extremely fast when the event began. She said they had more plants this year from the club members than last year.

"The bromeliads went fast," she said. "It's gone well."

Davis said they had a master gardener at the plant table during the morning of the sale to answer any questions about what the plants were that could not be identified.

"I love it ... people do love it," she said about the annual Garden Gala.

Individuals had the opportunity to walk around the park to view what the different horticultural, artist and yard art vendors had for sale, along with visiting with some of the local authors of the island.

Victoria Heisel, who was invited by one of the Garden Club members, attended the gala for the first time this year.

"I think it is wonderful and I am so excited to see plants that are native to the area," she said while looking at an abundance of brightly colored flowers. "I love supporting the local nurseries."

Susan Presley, who has attended many Garden Galas in the past, said she enjoyed looking at all the new plants. She said her wish is to learn how to take care of all the plants for a future garden that she is working on.

Although Presley has enjoyed all of the galas she has attended, she said this year there was more of a variety of plants to choose from.

Educational demonstrations, free of charge, were also provided throughout the day at the park Saturday.

Presley was one of the attendees that took advantage of the demonstrations.

The one that she enjoyed was "Gifts from the Garden: Unconventional Ways to Use Common Plant Material,: which was given by Donna Cook, one of the Pine Island Garden Club members.

"She just amazes me, she is so creative," Presley said.

Cook provided demonstrations on how to use things from the garden to create flower arrangements for inside the home.

Carol Luoma, who attended the Garden Gala for the first time this year, also enjoyed the demonstration Cook did for the crowd of women who gathered under the tent. She came ready with a pen and a notebook to take notes on the various presentations she attended throughout the day.

"She is wonderful," Luoma said about Cook. "There are so many creative things you can use from your yard."

She said she was impressed with the amount of items from the yard you can use that would last a long time without any water.

Luoma took many ideas away from the demonstration, along with pictures, so she can duplicate them at home.

"That's why I came, I am taking lots of notes," she said.

Luoma said she thought the event was wonderful.

"I have seen people come with a wagon and I see why," she said about the variety of plants one can choose from. "This is an excellent club, they share so much."



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