Shop Orinda Garden Club’s Plant Sale on April 17 at Library Plaza

(Courtesy of Jean Rowe)
Jean Rowe with her multitude of vegetable seedlings. The plants will be ready for the Orinda Garden Club’s plant sale held at the Orinda Library Plaza on April 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    What do Danube, Alice’s Dream and Faelan’s First Snow have in common? They are all varieties of tomatoes, propagated by Sue Andersen-Berger, available at the Orinda Garden Club’s Plant Sale April 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Orinda Library Plaza.
    Anderson-Berger describes these favorite tomatoes this way: “Danube is a compact cherry tomato, a tasty treat to pop in your mouth as you walk in your garden. Alice’s Dream, a yellow/orange beefsteak with purple shoulders, is beautiful. Faelan’s First Snow, a Cherokee Purple with variegated leaves, looks as if snow has fallen upon the leaves. All are unique and delicious.”
    Anderson-Berger has grown tomatoes on a large scale since 2012. Large scale means 900 to 1,200 plants a year, including over 100 unique, hard-to-find varieties.
    The plant sale proceeds will go towards Orinda Garden Club’s educational meetings and programs as well as public instruction in the fields of gardening, conservation and environment.
    These plants, which the club members have carefully nurtured, are ready to go home to gardeners in the area. Shoppers will find perennials, which are pollinator friendly and drought resistant, and a selection of annual flowers including more than 19 varieties of sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias. Several varieties of salvias will be prominent on the plaza. Jean Rowe says these plants are easy to grow, produce beautiful blooms, attract pollinators, and don’t require much water.  
    Rowe, co-chair of the Garden Club’s event, promises a wide variety of vegetable and flowering plants propagated by club members.
    She explains, “While a few members have greenhouses, many had to set up ‘makeshift’ environments for these plants to mature over the winter. For example, I enclosed an alcove in front of our house with plastic to create a warmer place for the young plants. The key is providing light and warmth.”
    Another ardent gardener in the club, Susan DiStefano, bought her first greenhouse over 25 years ago and has been propagating ever since. Last year she propagated over 1,000 seedlings of vegetables and shared them with Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Orinda Intermediate, and Del Rey Schools. She worked with students, teaching them propagation techniques. Her contributions to the sale will be salvias and zinnias, as well as veggies and herbs. 
    Expect a huge supply of vegetable and herbs including 30 plus varieties of Sue’s hard-to-find tomatoes, 13 varieties of peppers, squash, and beans. Succulents, increasingly sought after, will be there too.
    But that’s not all. Tables with useful information for the entire family will be set up, covering such topics as conservation, composting demonstrations, worm composting and fire safe landscaping.
    There’s a Marketplace too which will feature spring wreaths and decorative herb boxes made by members; garden related accessories; floral notecards; botanical prints; herbal creams and remedies; and birdhouses made by Greg of Lafayette. Orinda Books will have gardening books for purchase.

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