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May 17, 2011 > Heavenly greenery

Heavenly greenery

Annual plant sale beautifies gardens and benefits community

By Julie Grabowski

About 60 members of the Eden Garden Club have been sharing the mantle with Mother Nature, nurturing and raising a beautiful collection of plants for their annual fundraising plant sale. Over 500 plants will be available, grown from various methods such as root cutting, plant division, and branch cuttings. The plants are drought tolerant and decorative, ranging in price from $1 to $5 including a wide variety of succulents, which event chair Deirdre Lasher calls the "in plant," as well as geraniums, day lilies, irises, flowering sage, miniature agapanthus, and many other sun and shade plants. Specially priced items such as fancy succulent "dish gardens" and hand-made garden related objects such as "humming bird houses" and decorated paver stones will also be for sale.

Lasher is contributing 150 of her own potted plants, some of which have been rooting since last summer. She says she deliberately chooses easy to grow plants. While care of some specimens might be a little more involved, each plant has a label indicating its needs for best growth. "We want our plants to be successful with people," Lasher says.

The Eden Garden Club was established in the 1950s and is comprised of about 80-90 members from Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and other nearby communities. The plant sale is one of the club's two major fundraisers, the other a rummage sale held in October. In addition to enjoying each other's company and pursuing a common interest, the club is a service organization whose fundraisers help support charitable activities.

They have donated funds to Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Coyote Hills, the nature projects of Hayward Area Recreational District, and conservations projects such as Save the Bay. They also collect funds for the Penny Pines Reforestation Program, dedicated to renewing national forest land in California devastated by fire, insect infestation, or disease. The club even has a hand in raising the next generation of gardeners by providing grants to local schools to assist garden projects. Schools use gardens to teach science curriculum and for after school projects. Whether the need is for plants or pots, the Eden Garden Club helps provide what students need to foster an understanding, appreciation, and love of the plant world.

So why should people come out to the plant sale instead of visiting their local nursery or chain store garden center? "It's definitely more fun!" laughs Lasher. "It's a festive occasion and there are knowledgeable people to answer your questions."

A half dozen of their number are Master Gardeners, a title achieved by taking training courses through the University of California Alameda County Master Gardeners. Lasher says visitors are welcome to bring their questions along with them, and even their ailing plants. Another draw, according to Lasher, is that their plants cost less than those in the nurseries and are in better shape. They are ready and waiting for planting, with some already in bloom.

And if more incentive is needed, in addition to offering eye pleasing greenery, the club will also tantalize the taste buds with home baked goods for sale.

From common garden plants to more exotic options, the Eden Garden Club plant sale is your best bet to create a beautiful summer garden.

For more information on the plant sale or the Eden Garden Club, contact club president Martha Maxson at (510) 538-1431.

Eden Garden Club Plant Sale
Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3785 Somerset Avenue, Castro Valley
(510) 538-1431

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