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You've made your bed - now plant in it: Bainbridge garden club gets ready for big sale

Lauri Herman looks over a plot of plants grown by the club. The plants will get cozy in their new pots while waiting to be sold at the club’s annual plant sale on May 11.  - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Lauri Herman looks over a plot of plants grown by the club. The plants will get cozy in their new pots while waiting to be sold at the club’s annual plant sale on May 11.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

They gathered in a remote corner of the north end of the island. They knew what they were there for and were plenty

prepared to get dirty.

It didn’t take long until these ladies started plotting.

Members of the Bainbridge Island Garden Club gathered Wednesday to prepare for an island tradition; their annual plant sale fundraiser. Together they replanted in pots and put them in plots to wait until the big sale in May.

“We will have tables set up according to perennials, annuals, ground covers, veggies, trees and bushes, and natives,” said club member Marilyn Mathis.

But before the sale in the Ace Hardware parking lot — it’s planned for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 — the club had to organize their products. That’s plants, and lot of them.

“We have some basic stuff like Crocosmia (aka Crocodile flower), Siberian Iris, Japanese Iris,” Lauri Herman listed off while touring her garden, the plants’ temporary home until the sale.

“We have different types of geraniums, we have some yarrow, there’s mint, of course,” she added. “Currents are good for jam, and the deer love them as well.”

The selection of greenery ranges from edible to beautiful. It’s the result of the club members’ passionate effort in the garden to propagate a plethora of plants.

One item Herman offers, for example, is mint. It’s the same mint that her grandmother started growing in 1930.

“She was an old German immigrant and we used to have spearmint tea after every meal to settle our stomachs,” Herman said. “I took it to college, I had a planter in my college apartment, and I’ve had it since 1985.”

She still uses the mint for tea with her own family, and will offer it at the plant sale.

Plants at the sale generally go for $1 to $15.

Aside from the benefits of beautifying island landscapes, the money raised will further benefit the garden club and its good work on Bainbridge.

“It is our big fundraising event,” Mathis said. “All the money we gather is used for scholarship funds, grants and community projects.”

“The scholarships are for high school students that are going into horticulture or environmental studies,” she explained.

The scholarship is for $1,000. But in addition to helping out island students, the club cast its hands all over the island. Examples abound, such as the roundabout on Madison Avenue, or the plants decorating the interior of the Bainbridge Public Library.

The club also offers its green thumbs to the Messenger House and the Island Health & Rehab Center.

Lately they’ve had their sights set on the flowerbeds around the Winslow Post Office, and plan to give them a makeover.

Now in its 77th year, the garden club is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc. and a member of the Washington Federation of Garden Clubs. It meets at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month from September to June at the Bainbridge Island First Baptist Church.

The club will accept donations of plants for its fundraising sale. It can be contacted through its website at www.mmgar or on its Facebook page.

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