Gardenfest grows into Boyd Community Center's largest special event
By Tawnya Panizzi
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
As if the name wasn't a giveaway, Gardenfest at the Boyd Community Center is a flower lover's dream.
And you don't have to have a green thumb to enjoy the festivities.
Sponsored by area garden clubs, the event showcases the craftsmanship of local members with their one-of-a-kind creations, high-quality perennials dug from home, organic vegetable starter packs and hints for growing herbs.
The free event will be from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the community center along Powers Run Road.
Portions of the proceeds benefit Boyd's operating budget.
“The garden clubs are so dedicated and work so hard,” said Boyd Executive Director Stephanie Flom.”The plants and arrangements that they sell are very special and really much sought after. And they invest all of their profits back into the community.
“I love these women.”
Fox Chapel Garden Club will be selling perennials that are carefully dug, marked and tended from members' home gardens. Guyasuta Garden Club has planters made from peat and cement, and filled with succulents.
Flom said a highly popular section of the event is the artist market. Garden and plant-related wares such as jewelry, mosaics and photography will be for sale.
“We had a few artists last year and they did so well, we decided to expand it,” she said.
“The response has been phenomenal.”
In all, there will be 42 juried vendors chosen for their creativity, diversity of materials and marketability.
From hand-cast concrete garden art and chair planters to fiber wraps and metal herb markers, the treasures are unique, Flom said.
As shoppers peruse the tables, music will be provided by the band the Nox Boys and the CMU Music Preparatory School.
Western Pennsylvania Herb Society members will be on-hand with tips on cultivating a variety of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage that you can trim from your own back porch.
Hillcrest Garden Club members are scheduled to exhibit hand-painted pots and glassware and gardening crafts.
Penn State Master Gardeners will have a hardy selection of annuals, perennials, deer resistant plants, lettuce bowls and a variety of heirloom potatoes and vegetable seed starters.
“It's grown into our biggest special event of the year,” Flom said.
Elaine Mitch, Boyd marketing and membership director, said the program provides a festive way for the community to come together around the theme of gardening and art.
“Hundreds of volunteers are involved in this effort from the garden club members, to participating non-profits, to the community members who will be helping to direct traffic, sell plants, and help people transport the plants to their cars,” she said. “We expect quite a crowd, so come early, and bring a wagon to transport your purchases.”
A slew of specialty groups, such as Girls of Steel Robotics Team and Animal Friends, have been invited to host educational activities for both adults and children.
Gardenfest is sponsored this year by Greenprints Landscaping and Design, owned by O'Hara resident Greg Schafer, who will show off his 1940-Era pick up truck on Boyd's front lawn.
The truck will be brimming with ornamental plants and shrubbery to be auctioned off.
“I encourage everyone, gardeners and non-gardeners alike, to join us,” Flom said.
“It's such a fun event with so much to learn, see, do, taste, and yes, purchase. We're thrilled by the active participation of the garden clubs, artists, retailers, and environmental groups.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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