“It’s been a very big success,” said Tony Johnson, the Research and Education Garden’s horticulturist. “We had at least 200 cars in the parking lot at 8 o’clock. I would say we had over 700 people here today.”
The plant sale offers gardeners more than an opportunity to purchase high quality plants. With experts on hand, those in attendance were also able to glean information on what may work best in their landscapes.
“We have master gardeners who are here to tell people about the plants,” said Krissy Slagle, a Friends of the Garden volunteer who co-chaired the sale. “They do a great job.”
Slagle said in addition to the master gardeners, other volunteers worked tirelessly not only Saturday, but in the weeks and months preceding the sale.
“We had a lot of volunteers — great participation — who were essential to the sale’s success,” she said.
According to Johnson, the funds raised will benefit the Research and Education Garden.
“Everything that is raised today is used by Friends of the Garden to help the garden through the purchase of plant materials and mulches, plus the money goes to help pay for things like the new education building and paving for the road,” he said. “There are no administrative fees. Everything goes back to the garden.”
Johnson said the most popular item among customers appeared to be native azaleas. One new feature this year that also proved popular was a single vendor who sold items complimentary to the event.
“We had a very successful vendor here with us who sold glazed pots and fountains,” Johnson said. “It helped to have him for customers to see things they could use as accessories or focal points in their gardens.”
Johnson said there are plans to include additional vendors in future years, but added, “We’re going to be kind of selective with who we bring it. It has to be something that goes along with what we’re doing.”
One customer who returns to the plant sale each year, Lynn Ellis, was once again pleased with the offerings.
“I come mainly because of the different varieties that you can’t get in the stores,” she said. “Today, I got some of the geraniums and a native azalea.”
Jim Morgan, a first-time visitor to the garden and sale, said he, too, was pleased with the items available.
“I’ve worked in Griffin for the past couple of years and I drive by here every day, but I didn’t even know the garden was here until I saw a sign for the sale a couple of days ago,” he said. “My wife and I bought some tomato plants and herbs, plus a lot of other things. We got more than what we came for, which is good. The prices were good.”
Slagle said she was pleased with the outcome of the sale and is thankful for those who support the future of the garden.
“I think it went really well. It was a great day with great weather. It’s spring and people get excited,” she said.