Shaler Garden Club hosting 66th Annual Plant sale |

Shaler Garden Club hosting 66th Annual Plant sale

Doug Oster | Tribune-Review
Crocus is one of the first flowers of the season to bloom.
Courtesy of Lorraine Ballato
Blue hydrangea flower

April’s showers will bring flowers at the Shaler Garden Club’s 66th Annual Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to noon May 4.

Shoppers at the Kiwanis Park sale will find perennials such as lily of the valley, menarda, black-eyed Susans, lamium, day lilies and ajuga from Shaler Garden Club members’ gardens. Judy Schiffbauer, the club’s publicity chairwoman, said the sale will contain uncommon findings like Solomon’s Seal, a plant eaten in China. Most perennials will cost $2 to $6, with trees, shrubs and unusual plants costing $8 to $10.

She said that the club has around 10 gardeners who have earned master gardener certifications through the Penn State Extension or Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

“They walk around (during the sale) and they really try to help people make a good selection for their gardens’ conditions — you know shade, sun, wet, dry, hilly, that sort of thing, so that they have the best chance of success,” she said.

The sale also will feature herbs like mint, oregano, chives, vegetables, houseplants, and daffodil, tulip, and hyacinth bulbs, Schiffbauer said.

The members will fashion Mother’s Day arrangements using decorative pots and ornaments.

“People come to this year after year and they look forward to it and put it on their calendars because it is a really great opportunity to fill in your garden at bargain prices,” Schiffbauer said. “I mean, if you go to the horticulture stores you now pay $15 for perennials.”

Shaler resident Rob Nichols has attended the sale for nine years.

“I go because the Shaler Garden Club is a very well-organized, well-respected club. Whatever plant you are looking for, you can usually find it at the sale.”

Every year, he arrives early to help his club member mother-in-law and her fellow members set up.

“I have kind of an ulterior motive. I mean, I love living in Shaler and the garden club is a great club so I love to support them, but I show up to help set up and that gets me into the plant sale early, and then I can kind of look around and see what people are bringing and see what I might want to buy.”

In addition to the plant sale, guests may purchase tickets for prize baskets, Schiffbauer said, like the 25 baskets last year with themes such as gardens, tea, teddy bears, pets and birds.

Volunteers will hold a bake sale, offering free cups of coffee to those who purchase baked goods.

“Our members contribute a lot of really nice gently used and sometimes brand-new, with the price-tag-still-on-it kind of things for the flea market, and everything from jewelry, knick-knacks, holiday decorations, records, games, toys,” Schiffbauer said, explaining another sale area.

Children may have their faces painted and create flower- and insect-themed crafts. Kid can plant a flower in a pot for Mother’s Day, for a requested donation.

Proceeds support the club’s community projects and philanthropic donations. Claudia Bernardo, president, said the club donates to the Shaler North Hills, Millvale Community and Glenshaw Public libraries, the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, HEARTH and North Hills Community Outreach, among other nonprofits.

Nichols has looked forward to the event since January when he added it to his calendar.

“It gives me something to look forward to during those long winter months — that I know the plant sale’s coming up. I start to get kind of excited in April because I know that I’m going to get to go to the plant sale.”

Categories: Local | Hampton_Shaler
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