May markets spring up throughout region with summer garden delights

| Friday, April 26, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

A perennial favorite first stop on the path to a summer of garden delights is any of the May marts and markets scheduled in the region within the next few weeks.

Horticulture enthusiasts and home gardeners can stock up on flowering plants, shrubs, specialty ornamentals, herbs and vegetable plants, including heirloom varieties. They also can shop for garden accessories and floral gifts in time for Mother's Day in an outdoor marketplace.

One of the oldest and largest in the area, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' 77th annual May Market will take place May 10 and 11. Held on the lawn at the Oakland conservatory, the event will feature a variety of local garden clubs, nurseries, farms and other vendors selling organic herbs and vegetable seedlings, tropical plants and succulents, native and rain-garden plants and more.

Sharing a tent at the market will be the Pittsburgh Iris and Daylily Society and the Daffodil and Hosta Society of Western Pennsylvania. Dan Taylor of Glenshaw, co-president of the iris and daylily group, says members will meet at one of their home gardens in Monongahela on May 4 to dig and clean daylilies to sell.

“We expect to have 25 to 50 different varieties to meet everyone's taste of this easy-to-grow flower,” Taylor says.

Lindsay MacGregor of O'Hara says her garden club, Seeders and Weeders, is working with a local nursery to create more than 50 baskets of flowering plants, which will be available for sale in two varieties, partial sun and shade, and full sun.

“They are just spectacular,” she says of this year's crop of annuals that will include petunia calibrachoa, lobelia, verbena, helichrysum (licorice vine), geranium, torenia, double and New Guinea impatiens.

Phipps will have a selection of low-maintenance perennials and shrubs as well as staff members and master gardeners to answer gardening questions.

The Phipps market will be from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 10 and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 at the conservatory in Schenley Park. The market is free, and conservatory admission will be half-price during event hours.

Details: 412-622-6914 or


In Westmoreland County, Greensburg Garden Center's annual May Mart on May 3 and 4 will feature a variety of specialty woody ornamentals, perennials, living wreaths, annuals, hanging baskets, herbs and plants that are freshly dug from members' gardens.

Spokeswoman Debbie Campbell says Greenridge Garden Club members will have heirloom tomato plants for sale, featuring Juliet Hybrid, Yellow Pear, Siberian, Yellow No Name, Virginia Sweets and Amish Paste. New this year will be Patio F Hybrid, Pink Ponderosa and Cherokee Chocolate varieties. Cheshamac Garden Club members will be selling colorful annuals. Hypertufa containers, some of which will be planted by garden club members, also will be featured.

On May 4, Westmoreland Hospital Auxiliary's Shred-A-Thon truck will be in the parking lot for those with documents to shred. Hot dogs and drinks will be available for sale.

Greensburg Garden Center's May Mart will be from 3 to 7 p.m. May 3 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4 at the Garden House behind the center, 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg.

Details: 724-837-0245 or

Penn State Master Gardeners of Westmoreland County will hold its annual Plant Sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11 at 214 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. The plant sale features annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs and native plants. Pre-orders are available.

Details: 724-837-1402

Fox Chapel

Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania will hold its Spring Native Plant Sale on May 4 at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve.

Audubon Center for Native Plants will offer discounts, and native plant experts will discuss the best plants for different locations. Native plants attract beneficial birds and insects to the garden and are adapted to survive in our region. For a list of plants available at this spring sale, visit

The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 614 Dorseyville Road, Fox Chapel.

Details: 412-963-6100 or


The 49th annual May Mart sponsored by the Sewickley Civic Garden Council will be May 11 along Broad Street in Sewickley. Featured will be plants, garden accessories and food items supplied by local garden clubs and vendors.

Highlights include zinnias, basil, green-leaf lettuces and mesculun from Garden Club of Allegheny County; a variety of heirloom tomatoes from Grapevine Garden Club; predesigned “no-brainer” container six-packs for sun or shade, perennials from members' gardens, garden gloves, hydrangeas and orchids from the Little Garden Club.

Trowel and Error Garden Club will have assorted ageratums, begonias, impatiens and vinca, and Village Garden Club will offer a selection of herbs and exotic geraniums.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Broad Street between Beaver and Thorn streets in Sewickley.


Presales will be offered by Little Garden Club from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10 at 1107 Beaver Road in the Osborne section of Sewickley, and by Trowel and Error Garden Club from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10 at 601 Academy Ave.


Indiana Garden Club's 38th annual May Mart will be May 17 and 18 at S&T Bank Arena, White Township Recreation Complex. The event is the annual fundraiser for the garden club's projects.

Local nurseries will provide annuals, perennials and shrubs, and more than 100 craft vendors will offer garden-related and handcrafted items for sale. Food items, including the event's traditional mushroom sandwiches and strawberry pies, will be available at the Indiana Garden Club food booth in the indoor food area of the recreation center.

The garden club will feature its annual Orphan's Court, offering “homeless plants” from members' gardens for “adoption.” There will be children's activities and live entertainment.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 17 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18 at 495 East Pike, Indiana.

Details: 724-349-8763 or


West Overton Garden Society will sponsor its ninth annual May Mart on May 11, featuring heirloom and hybrid tomatoes and vegetable plants, annuals, perennials, herbs, unique houseplants, hanging baskets, Oglevee's geraniums and more.

Visitors may bring a plant and take a plant from the Swap Table. There will be vendors selling pastries and coffee, hot chocolate and teas. The sale benefits the garden society, which maintains the museum gardens and grounds.

The West Overton May Mart will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Overton Museum, 109 West Overton Road, Scottdale.

Details: 724-640-4180 or


Penn State Master Gardeners of Butler County and Butler County Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor their ninth annual Spring Garden Market and Home Show on May 18 in Alameda Park in Butler. There will be specialty food items, craft vendors, landscaping materials, plants and more.

The show will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 184 Alameda Road.

Details: 724-283-2222 or

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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