REGION — Annual plant sales provide so much more than new greenery and color for the landscape.

The sales, which are looked forward to by gardening enthusiasts typically offer a variety of annual and perennial flowers, vegetable seedlings and house plants. Some include flowering shrubs and/or fruit plants.

The sales offer local gardeners a chance to divide perennials, something which needs to be done every few years to keep them in peak condition. They then make them available for other gardeners to add to their collections. Donating shrubs that have reseeded or formed new shoots is another way that one’s garden or grounds can be kept neat while helping others.

Some organizations jump start the growing season by growing seedlings specifically for their sale. The sales also provide an opportunity to donate house plants that have outgrown their space without destroying them – something many plant lovers have a hard time doing.

Olga Lehto holds several potted plants Saturday morning, May 18, she selected from the Mt. Blue Area Garden Club’s annual plant sale held at Meeting House Park off Main Street in Farmington. She said she lives downtown. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Several plant sales took place locally on Saturday, May 18. One is underway and will last for a few weeks. Others will be held on upcoming Saturdays.

The Mt. Blue Area Garden Club sale in Farmington is always highly anticipated. Just before 9 a.m. Saturday the sidewalk along Main Street in front of Meeting House Park was lined with boxes and bags filled with a variety of options. Dozens of people waited eagerly for the courthouse clock to start chiming – the signal that the sale was officially open – when already scoped out selections could be picked up.


Numerous people quickly paid for their choices and were soon off to visit another sale. Farmington residents Emma and Mallory Hafenecker were seen debating with Cindy Stevens about which varieties of sunflowers to add to their almost full box.

Olga Lehto, who lives downtown had her arms full of potted plants. Nearby Patty Cormier and Regina Longyear took a moment to catch up with each other. A club member, Longyear said the sale has been held for a long time.

Marion Hutchinson, the club’s treasurer said the sale averages $1,000 with some of the proceeds going to scholarships for local high school seniors.

“Every year members and non-members donate plants,” she said. “A non-member gave a split leaf philodendron they had had since 1960. It was still in the original, old pot. We sold it for $75.”

The club also plants flowers at several locations in town, hosts guest speakers at monthly meetings and has a large display at Farmington Fair.

Cindy Gelinas noted there wasn’t a large selection left at 9:20 a.m. “I got here a little late,” she said.


Deb Adams of North Jay prepares to pay for plants she selected Saturday morning, May 18, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wilton. Paula Whitman of Dixfield is seen at right. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

At St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wilton, a sale was being held in the large parking lot off of School Street.

Deb Adams of North Jay said she wasn’t going to tell her family she was buying plants. “My oldest son and daughter threatened a plant intervention,” she told Paula Whitman of Dixfield who traveled with her to the sale.

Jeannine LeVigne, a church member said the sale will help with a variety of mission projects and other activities. Its outreach includes the Wilton food pantry, sending youth to an Episcopal summer camp, the Lenten project, Santa’s Workshop and supporting other local organizations, she noted. “About $1,800 was raised for Safe Voices this year,” she stated. “The goal was $800.”

Tyngtown Club was also holding a plant sale on the First Congregational Church lawn on Main Street in Wilton. The sprinkles of earlier in the day had become a steadier rain, but tents and umbrellas kept most of the shoppers and workers dry.

Kayte Rackliffe holds a box of plants Saturday morning, May 18, at the Tyngtown Club plant sale held on the First Congregational Church lawn on Main Street in Wilton. Seen from left behind her are Nancy Cureton, Judy Upham and Zetta Wojcik. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“We are down to not many plants left,” member Judy Upham said.

Kayte Rackliffe balanced a partially filled box while looking at other plants to possibly add to it.

Proceeds from the Tyngtown sale help support Wilton Free Public Library, Western Maine Play Museum, Wilton Scholarship Committee and Fit Girls. Funds also go towards flowers planted throughout Wilton’s downtown each year.

“This is a really good cause,” Zetta Wojcik noted. It is also a chance to see people not seen recently, she added.

Old South Congregational Church in Farmington is holding an ongoing plant sale through Sunday, June 2. Self-serve, it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 125 Woodfield Drive in Farmington. A wide selection of mostly perennials is available, although other plants and gardening supplies may be available. The selection is always changing, and shoppers should bring cash or checks.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.