Create a Win-Win in Your Garden: Share Perennial Divisions with Bedford Plant Sales

An overgrown rootball, ready to be divided. Image (c)
An overgrown root ball, ready to be divided. Image (c)

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Dividing garden perennials every few years is a double win. Gardens benefit when plants have sufficient space to flower vigorously and avoid the perils  caused by overcrowding. Other gardeners and local plant sales benefit when new plants are created through division.

Gardeners in Bedford and surrounding towns eagerly anticipate a pair of consecutive Saturdays — May 10 and 17 this year –when the Bedford Garden Club and First Parish on the Common each hold large plant sales.

Both the Garden Club and First Parish would like residents to know that donations of perennial divisions dug from local gardens will be welcome, and the time to pot them up for the sales is now.

Garden Club seeks perennials for its May 10th sale

The Bedford Garden Club is looking for donations of perennials from Bedford residents’ gardens to be sold as part of the Club’s annual Geranium, Perennial and Floral Arrangement sale on May 10, the day before Mother’s Day.

Residents who have perennials which have become overgrown in their yards, or who want to thin out certain perennial patches, can contact the Garden Club, and its “Digging Brigade” will come and do all the work to divide the plants, leaving some where they are growing and potting some for the Garden Club sale.

The May 10th sale is the Club’s biggest annual fundraiser, and helps to support its scholarship and civic programs in town.  In addition to the perennials that will be sold at the sale, hundreds of geraniums will be available, as well as beautiful flower arrangements in three sizes – perfect for Mother’s Day gifts.

Contact Carol Amick (781-275-5278) to donate any type of perennials and arrange for the Digging Brigade’s assistance.

61st Annual First Parish Plant & Craft Fair on Saturday, May 17

Bedford’s annual First Parish Plant and Craft Fair is a major church and community event that offers a large selection of Heritage Perennials gleaned from several generations of Bedford gardens.

Heritage perennials come from gardens around Bedford.  To assure that the newly-dug transplants will be happily ensconced in their new pots and ready for sale at the fair on May 17, Plant Coordinator Jean Balfour, the daughter of one of the Fair’s founders, encourages gardeners to start the digging plants they would like to share this weekend.

“I see some signs of green poking up,” said Balfour, “so I’ll be digging some day lilies, blue bachelor buttons, lamium, iris, cranesbill geraniums, various kinds of phlox.  Forget-me-nots are up and showing flower buds.” There will also be some May Apples originally from founder Eva Schafer’s garden. One or two pots of the pink lilies of the valley that were reputedly brought to Bedford from Paris often make an appearance.

Plants are particularly popular, Balfour noted, but trees and shrubs are also welcome.  If you need containers or advice about what to dig, please call 275-4556.

In addition to its Heritage Perennial section, the First Parish Fair on May 17 also includes a Grocery Garden of heritage tomato plants from Verrill Farm, fragrant herbs and vibrant veggies; plus  the very healthiest ordinary and specialty nursery-grown annuals.


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