The Club’s annual Plant Sale, which takes place every year in May on the Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day, is a beloved spring tradition for all gardeners. The Plant Sale has been held in various forms for the past 80 years. The first, in 1939 when the Club had just 35 members, consisted of several dozen plants dug from members’ yards. Since then, these “plant digs” as they’ve come to be known, have become a staple of the Club, serving as a hugely popular bonding experience for members. Friendships are forged and laughs are shared as members work side-by-side digging, potting and labelling well in excess of a thousand plants over a period of three weeks.
The exponential growth of the Plant Sale has been amazing to witness. From its inauspicious start in 1939, the Plant Sale now includes pollinator plants, wildflowers, herbs, vegetables, perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, patio containers, hanging flower baskets, beautiful decorative baskets, and the addition of a greenhouse pre-sale on the Wednesday before the sale. Far beyond the free gardening advice cheerfully doled out by members, the proceeds from the sale are used for the upkeep of the town’s many gardens as well as the Club’s numerous outreach programs and philanthropic endeavors. Those 35 members would be proud to see how the Plant Sale has evolved over time, becoming a vital part of the Wilton community and an important source of its beauty and charm. In many ways, things haven’t changed much at all since our very first Plant Sale more than 80 years ago: For members, it still serves as a vehicle where friendships can be formed across generations and town lines.
- 1939–The Club holds its first sale at Old Town Hall featuring plants hand-dug from members’ gardens.
- 1978–The Plant Sale outgrows its original location and moves to the grounds of Center School.
- 1979–The Plant Sale expands to include plants for rock gardens, specialty plants, and a member-sponsored container planting service incorporating items buyers select from the sale.
- 1979–The first “Digs” are conducted during which volunteers meet at members’ gardens to dig, divide, and pot up plants to be donated to the Sale.
- 1981–A pre-ordering program is introduced.
- 1983–The Plant Sale moves to the corner of School Road and Route 7, sharing space with the renowned Minks to Sinks Tag Sale.
- 1986–The Club’s Greenhouse opens, enabling members to grow many of the plants destined for sale from both cuttings and seeds
- 1988–The Sale moves again to Town Green, its current site.
- 2013–The Sale includes a “Member’s Choice” section, a selection of tried-and-true, must-have plants for every garden.
- 2014–The Club celebrates its 75th Plant Sale, featuring more than 1,400 perennials dug from members’ gardens, dozens of hanging baskets, patio planters, and decorative containers, and a diverse selection of herbs, vegetables, and annuals.
- 2019–The Club celebrates its 80th Plant Sale, “80 Years of Blooms,” which was the most successful plant sale in the Club’s history.