The Amherst plant sale is an annual event. (COURTESY)
AMHERST — With spring finally in bloom, the town's highly anticipated plant sale — billed as one of the largest in the state — is expected to draw a big crowd next month.
The sale, sponsored by the Amherst Garden Club, will feature more than 2,000 plants, according to organizers, who have been digging and potting perennials from local gardens for several weeks in preparation for the sale.
"This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and we are very excited about this year's offerings," said Deborah Ferrelli of the garden club.
The sale will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 10 at Wilkins Elementary School, 80 Boston Post Road, but visitors are encouraged to arrive early for the best selection.
"This is typically one of the largest plant sales in New England," said Ferrelli. "All of the perennials have been locally dug and potted by members of our group." Currently, the gardening club has about 120 members.
Some of the plants that will be offered include day lilies, hostas, astilbes, bleeding hearts, alliums, anemones, centaureaus and garden herbs.
Nine specialty vendors have been invited to the sale as well, and will offer various hanging plants for Mother's Day, small shrubs and trees and a variety of vegetables.
Perennials will sell for $5 a pot, and prices for other items will vary.
"After the winter that we had, everyone is thinking about spring gardening. And, with Mother's Day just around the corner, this event is the perfect place to stop for a beautiful planted gift," said Ferrelli.
There is no charge for admission, and people are welcome to bring their own wheelbarrows or wagons to collect their favorite flowers. In addition to the plant sale, baked goods will be offered, and a raffle table filled with gift baskets will be on hand.
A children's potting table will be featured, and kids are invited to make something special for their mother or grandmother. Garden jewels, water features and hanging baskets are also expected to be a crowd favorite, according to Ferrelli.
All of the money raised from the event is used to help with Amherst Garden Club initiatives, including the plantings at seven community gardens in Amherst.
Proceeds will also assist with horticultural education in the Amherst area, and local scholarships for high school seniors interested in studying horticulture or landscaping.
"Back by popular demand, we are bringing back the tool shack," said Ferrelli, adding donations of gently used gardening tools will be accepted and made available during the plant sale.