Spring is in the air and the New Castle Garden Club helped to accelerate the beauty of people’s yards and homes by hosting their annual Plant Auction.
As one walked into the New Castle Christian Church, where the auction was held, there were hundreds of plants and bulbs there to admire and to bid on including garden plants, herbs, ground covering, small bushes, an array of different hostas, lilies, black-eyed Susans shamrock, bridal wreath, flowering plants and so much more including a climbing onion.
One received a bidding card to use during the auction and a ticket for the raffle drawings as they entered, as several items were given away during the auction using the raffle tickets.
A smorgasbord of snacks was available to enjoy so no one got hungry during the two-hour auction.
President Darlene Charlton welcomed everyone and immediately introduced their returning auctioneer, “Virginia Bluebell.”
Her contagious smile and joyful ways brought “a bit of sunshine” to the room as she started the evening by saying, “Let’s talk dirt!” The comment made everyone laugh.
She added as she pulled out her (play) plastic microphone, “I am not a professional auctioneer, I just do this for fun, so y’all don’t look at one another, you look at me!”
Bluebell started the first plant off with her fast-bidding talk and it was sold within seconds.
She had help from some of the club members who brought her the plants, including a new citizen of Craig County, Jason Sarine, who started his own farm and nursery called, The Humble Hen.
As he was holding a Lamb’s Ear plant and Bluebell was getting the bids, he added, “Remember when toilet paper is so expensive, this is so soft!” Bluebell gave him a look of approval, while everyone seemed to enjoy his comments.
As Bluebell was handed a pineapple plant for the next bidding, she caressed it and said, “Hello, Mr. Dole!”
She was able to create an atmosphere of fun and laughter, while getting top bids for the plants for the club.
Jason had provided several hostas for the auction, including two cardboard boxes that were closed and labeled, “surprise plant.” These brought the attention of many, and they went at a high price. The buyers were happy when they opened their boxes. All his plants were in pristine condition.
Bluebell exclaimed, “Jason’s plants were tended by his magic hands!”
The club was pleased as the bids on many plants continued to rise. Daylilies went for up to $32 and the pencil cactus sold for $46.
All plants were donated by the members.
“We don’t specify to our members any type of plant but something that grows well here and there is plenty to share from our house or backyards,” Charlton shared. “We always have favorites like Hostas, Daylilies, Irises but this year we did notice some different items from our members like Heirloom small tomatoes and peppers and unique houseplants.”
She added that many who attend are looking for deer resistant or good “oldies and goodies” like black eyed Susan, phlox and butterfly and bee pollinators.
The New Castle Garden Club was founded in 1939 in New Castle, and it has made the Plant Auction fundraiser an annual event since the 1990s.
The club wishes to extend its thanks to the New Castle Christian Church for allowing it to use the fellowship hall for the auction.
“We also would like to thank Mrs. Virginia ‘Bluebell’ McWhorter for being our auctioneer this year, which she does such a great job and all our club members for their hard work to collect and make all the plant and food donations to our auction,” Charlton added.
Anyone wishing to join the New Castle Garden Club can attend the meetings, the first Thursday of every month and can contact Darlene Charlton, Sue Helems or Anita Martindell to find out more about joining it
“We had a very successful auction this year due to so many of our members helping as hostesses treasurers, ways and means setup, and adding the description of donated plants from our own new members, Jason and Stefanie Sarine, who own and operate a local plant nursery, The Humble Hen, which is located here in Craig,” Charlton shared.
She added, “The New Castle Garden Club also funds many community projects in Craig County, including helping to send a youth to 4H camp, Easter Seal arrangements, caring for the grounds of our local log cabins, historical society, library and many more.”
The auction will now allow them to do all of their projects for the year, along with other visions they have.
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