Arts and Entertainment

Club’s plant sale will help a college student take root

Karen Marten organizes the plants she will donate to the Bainbridge Island Garden Club’s annual plant sale. Marten will donate 450 plants of different varieties that she divided or cut from plants in here own garden. Proceeds from the plant sale will go to support a scholarship for a Bainbridge High School student who will study horticulture.  - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Karen Marten organizes the plants she will donate to the Bainbridge Island Garden Club’s annual plant sale. Marten will donate 450 plants of different varieties that she divided or cut from plants in here own garden. Proceeds from the plant sale will go to support a scholarship for a Bainbridge High School student who will study horticulture.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

Islander Karen Marten has been busy in her garden, though not for her own sake.

Marten has spent the past year dividing and cutting plants to make even more for the Bainbridge Island Garden Club’s annual plant sale this Saturday.

Marten alone will contribute 450 plants to the effort, or as her husband Norman says, “two SUV’s worth.”

Though a look across the extensive rows of Silenes, Saxifragas, strawberries and more, two SUV’s may be a conservative estimate.

Many of the offerings Marten started from only three plants, with the help of her dog Cinder at her side — though Cinder was probably more interested in the smell of the plants. Now there are hundreds of flowers and succulents she will be donating to the sale.

“They all came out of my garden,” Marten said. “And I’m just one person, so there will be a lot of plants there.”

Marten certainly won’t be alone. Other members of the garden club will be contributing the product of their own dirty work to make thousands of options available ranging from perennials, annuals, berry plants, trees and more. Prices for most plants are $1 to $3, and the sale will expand across the Ace Hardware parking lot.

The plant sale is an annual event held by the island’s garden club, generally just before Mother’s Day. The funds raised will not only help the green thumbs of Bainbridge Island, they will chiefly go to support a scholarship fund for a local high school graduate who is aiming for a horticultural or environmental sciences degree.

“That is our main purpose for the money that comes from the plant sale,” Marten said.

While the garden club serves as a place for island gardeners to meet and discuss their favorite hobby, it also serves the community in other ways. For example, the maintenance and beautification of the roundabout on High School Road is a product of their efforts.

This Saturday, islanders can browse through the impressive efforts by club members and take some home to brighten up their own gardens.

“The plants that are for sale are from members’ gardens, so it is all grown on Bainbridge Island,” Marten said. “They are plants that have been divided or started from seed, so you know that it is a plant that will grow in your garden.”

“And it’s a good cause.”

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