ST. MARYS — Shoppers looking for last-minute, colorful gifts for Mother’s Day had a place to visit as part of a local garden club’s annual flower sale.
The St. Marys Gardeners held its annual sale along Indiana Avenue Friday and Saturday. The event, which helps raise funds for the group, featured flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors.
“It’s annual flowers, hanging baskets and we usually try to have it on Mother’s Day weekend to try and get baskets out for Mother’s Day,” said Larry Kill, secretary/treasurer of the club. “Our goal is to try to get more color out in the city, and the money we do make goes back into planting beds around town.”
The club is responsible for planting several beds around the city — including beds in Memorial Park, at the intersection of Ohio 703 and Ohio 364 and 30 to 40 barrels that are placed at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds. Kill said the group also planted tulips and daffodils in the downtown district.
“We have a lot of people who come out here just to get plants for Mother’s Day,” Kill said. “Today (Saturday) we had people who come out every year who just get hanging baskets for Mother’s Day.”
The event also serves as a way for the club to get its name out into the community. Kill noted the club is closing in on 100 years of existence.
“We have a lot of knowledge in our club,” Kill said. “We’re a small club, and we talk about things that are going on. If someone is having trouble with a fruit tree or something, we can help people out.”
The club also has a presence at the farmers’ market on the covered bridge in Memorial Park during the summer months.
“We have a table set up with a sign that say, ‘The Doctor Is In,’” Kill said. “We take turns sitting up there, and if anyone has any questions about problems, we try to help them out.”
In addition to flowers, the club also is active in planting gardens and can help with trees.
Kill said wildlife is almost as important as selecting the correct type of flowers and plants for a garden.
“You’ve got to have the right type of birds,” Kill said. “Even squirrels are important.”
Kill also offered some tips for beginning gardeners.
“The biggest thing is getting the soil prepared right and getting the right flowers in the right place,” Kill said. “You have to get the soil prepared right so you can have a healthy plot.”
Square-foot gardening is booming in popularity, Kill said. That style of gardening involves planting different types of items into a square-foot plot.
“You can either do is with saw horses or on the ground and you block it off into a square foot and you can plant so much in that square foot,” Kill said, noting one 4-by-4 plot should provide enough to feed one person a salad a day through the summer. “It’s making and preparing the soil just right and after you get it right, you add compost to it every year. A lot of members have gone that way. I’ve had a bed set up that way for a few years.”
The group typically meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the St. Mary Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 419-394-2579.