Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heritage Plant Sale Celebrates 15th Anniversary

By: Kajsa Sabatke, Interpretive Projects Coordinator
2009 marks the fifteenth year that Supervisor of Pharmacy and Historic Gardens, Patrick MacGregor, has run the Heritage Plant Sale on Memorial Day weekend at the museum. Patrick’s sale has been successful because when people buy their new plants, they take home a piece of the museum and its gardens. He is often approached by visitors who report back on plants they bought as many as ten years ago. To supply plants for the sale, Patrick takes propagated cuttings from the museum’s heritage gardens and grows them offsite in other production gardens. He collects pots from museum staff, members, and other sale supporters and he pots all the plants prior to the sale.
The plant sale has developed some die-hard fans. Three years ago, Patrick had just sold his last Trillium – a historic and rare plant - when a woman came to look for one. She was from New Hampshire, staying with a friend in Hamilton, so Patrick dug up more plants that evening and the woman returned the next day to pick them up. The same woman returned last year, but Patrick had no Trillium available that year; this year, she called in May to ask about it. Patrick had a bumper crop of Trillium this year and the woman drove from New Hampshire and picked up her order bright and early on Saturday!
The plant sale was another success this year, thanks to the dedication of Patrick, his customers, and other museum staff. If you want to learn more about the Heritage Plant Sale or the heritage gardens, you can stop by Thrall Pharmacy at the museum.

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