Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lake Norman Garden Club to hold annual plant sale

The sale will feature  specimens such as bleeding heart and Persian shield, as well as mixed pots, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables.
The sale will feature specimens such as bleeding heart and Persian shield, as well as mixed pots, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables. COURTESY OF CHRISTY THORNTON

On April 18, the Lake Norman Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale at Rehobeth United Methodist Church in Terrell.

The sale will feature unique specimens such as bleeding heart, Persian shield, lantana, coleus, Felicia daisies, dwarf hydrangeas and eucalyptus.

There will be mixed pots, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables, including some hot peppers. The club will also hold a drawing for an herb garden kit, gift cards to local nurseries and other prizes. They will sell cookbooks and baked goods, demonstrate how to make mixed pots, answer questions and recommend plants.

In addition to the plants from Setzer’s Greenhouse, at least half of the plants at the sale are from members’ own gardens. Some of their offerings include azaleas, cast iron plants, Virginia sweetspire, columbine, hosta, Lenten roses and daylilies. Be among the first to arrive if you want them, though.

“People come early, and they run through and grab – especially if they want to get some of the members’ plants,” said Susie Plantan, one of the club’s 40 members.

Established in 1968, the Lake Norman Garden Club is almost as old as Lake Norman itself. The club boasts a handful of master gardeners, but members have a wide range of skills and interests. Monthly meetings focus on the club’s community projects, specific gardening topics, and, of course, the upcoming plant sale.

Member Linda McBride’s contribution to the sale hints at the rich history of the club. “I’m bringing some Shasta daisies that I started from seed in ... 1987,” she said, pausing to recall. She joined the Lake Norman Garden Club in 1995.

The plant sale has been a club tradition for more than 15 years. Before that, members held an annual yard sale, with baked goods and a few plants, in a member’s yard.

In 1999, they began to focus on plants, and the sale was held at the Terrell Country Store at the corner of Sherrills Ford Road and N.C. 150. The second year there, it rained, and they managed a quick move across 150 to Rehobeth UMC, where the sale has been held ever since.

Member Barbara Nagel has a stack of scrapbooks chronicling the annual plant sales, the club’s visits to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Seagrove pottery merchants and the Blowing Rock Tour of Homes, the holiday parties at members’ homes, the “Cooking With Herbs” class with local chef Tim Schafer, and a lake cruise aboard The Catawba Queen.

The scrapbooks also record the recipients of the club’s annual scholarship. Dee Greene, dubbed by her garden club friends as the “Queen of Raffle Tickets,” explains that the ticket sales help build the club’s scholarship fund. The scholarships go to students planning to study horticulture.

For younger gardeners, the strawberry hanging baskets at this year’s sale should spark interest. “We want to encourage parents to start gardening with their children,” said Christy Thornton, who is on the scholarship committee.

In years past, the sale-goers have found yard ornaments and cheeky signs to post in their gardens. One reads: “Watering is like telling your spouse ‘I love you.’ The more you do it, the better the result.”

Something along those lines could be said for the Lake Norman Garden Club itself. Not only have members watered their own plants, they have planted, weeded and otherwise lovingly tended some of Sherrills Ford’s favorite spots.

The club is responsible for the landscaping at the Sherrills Ford Hospice House. Members will also landscape at the new Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library, which opened last fall. And they tend the “Uncle Billy’s” Garden at the old library. The mini-park there has a large gazebo, giant shade trees and paths meandering through a variety of evergreens, grasses and sculptures.

But if the library garden gives you an idea of what the club has done, the plant sale explains how sharing is the key to the club’s vitality.

Another garden sign from a past sale reads, “You know you’re going overboard if you’re also planting in your neighbor’s yard.”

Club member Alice Beasley might disagree with that sign. “So many of my plants are from the garden club plant sale,” she said.

Erica Batten is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Erica? Email her at ebattenobserver@gmail.com.

Want to go?

The 16th annual Lake Norman Garden Club plant sale will be held 8 a.m.-noon April 18 at Rehobeth United Methodist Church, 9297 Sherrills Ford Road, Terrell.

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