Bleeding hearts, day lilies, hostas, lupines, peonies, astilbes, primroses, phlox, sedums, shasta daisies and other perennial beauties from private gardens in Hinesburg shone at the Osborne Parrish Hall on Saturday morning, May 16.
As their donated botanical brethren have gathered for decades before them, they awaited transport to an earthly home in someone else’s garden.
The United Church of Hinesburg Plant Sale this year was more of a “plants sold.” Because of the pandemic, the more than 900 plants had already been purchased online.
The plants were loaded into 87 vehicles by a cadre of 10 volunteers.
Mary Eddy Stewart, organizer of the Plant Sale, said this year’s was a pandemoniumless pandemic version of their annual fundraiser.
“We miss the helter-skelter, but we think we sold more this year,” Stewart said.
Usually, the Plant Sale runs from 9 a.m. to noon the Saturday before Mother’s Day, but it was moved back a week this year.
Traditionally, a horde of horticultural hobbyists have gathered by 8:15 a.m.
They are kept behind a starting line until 9 a.m. Someone who has done something special recently is given the honor of ringing the ceremonial cowbell.
Then it’s every plantsperson for them self.
“It’s a stampede. They have their tomato boxes ready. It’s a whirlwind in the first hour,” said Stewart. “People are always friendly. And we get so many compliments about how healthy our plants are.”
The Plant Sale has been held for more than 50 years.
Stewart said she remembers coming with her father to buy flowers for Mother’s Day.
The Plant Sale is one of three annual fundraisers church volunteers hold to raise money for the United Church of Hinesburg’s general operating budget. The others are the Chicken Pie Supper the last Saturday in October and the Holiday Bizarre the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
The Plant Sale is usually held in conjunction with Hinesburg’s town-wide garage sale, but that has been postponed this year because of quarantine.
Even without the draw of the garage sale, the Plant Sale raised more than $6,000 this year.
Stewart said, because many people enjoyed being able to see the plants online while many miss the excitement of the plant rush, next year’s United Church of Hinesburg Plant Sale will probably be some combination of the two.