Westport's plant sale grows online

WESTPORT — Business was blossoming Friday morning when the Westport Garden Club’s annual plant sale returned.

Having had to cancel the sale last year, this year the club decided to add a virtual aspect. Customers were able to place orders prior to the event and pick them up in the morning before the sale started.

“I love being able to pick them up online and then being able to come and scoop them up,” said customer Judy Jahnel, of Westport. “It’s so much more organized in my opinion.”

Club members liked the online addition too and plan to continue.

“The garden club plans to repeat and even expand online buying opportunities in the future,” said Topsy Siderowf, marketing director for the club. “The early buying augmented sales of previous years.”

Proceeds from the sale help the club maintain various public sites around Westport, including Grace Salmon Park, the Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden and the entrance garden at Earthplace, Siderowf said.

“Last year during COVID we didn’t have a plant sale,but we bought and sold among our members,” she said, adding it helped raise some money to support their work.

Beyond their work in the community, the 50 or so club members were also thrilled to have a chance to get together on a beautiful day.

Meinke said their club meetings have been held virtually for the past year.

“I think we were all so happy to see each other this morning,” she said. “It’s like a party.”

Jesup Green was the backdrop to hundreds of plants, all of which were lovingly grown by members.

“I like seeing everybody from the town getting together and getting excited about the same thing that excites me — beautiful plants,” said Chris Lorusso, of Westport, a club member for more than 20 years.

All varieties of plants, with a focus on native species and those that encourage pollinators, were part of the club’s main fundraiser.

“I like the native plants,” said customer Mike Hibbard, of Westport, who has frequented the sale over the years. “They also take very good care of these plants. They’re in very good shape.”

Each member donates 20 thriving plants, or “perkies,” for the sale.

“They’re all from our gardens,” said longtime member Lori Meinke, of Westport.