Colonial Garden Club of Hollis

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Sue Birch, a garden club member for 20 years, displays a sure sign of a successful fundraiser, dozens of empty boxes formerly filled with perennials, annuals and other plants that were sold.

The Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend is the traditional day of choice to go shopping for hundreds of plant lovers who attend the annual Colonial Garden Club of Hollis plant sale.

Tradition held firm on May 11 as lines of visitors awaited the start of the event. The club organized in 1966 is renowned for its annual offering of perennials, annuals and herbs, along with floral gifts. A raffle of gift baskets was a new attraction.

The group of around 60 club members from many towns provides cherished services to the community that include landscaping projects at the Hollis Social Library, Hollis Town Hall and Monument Square, site of the sale.

Kathie Nannicelli, president of the Colonial Garden Club Plant Sale, said that dollars from the sale augment the monies used for town beautification projects, the club’s scholarship program and many other enterprises

“It is through the sale that we fund everything we do,” Nannicelli said. “We support local groups that need it and we fund a scholarship for a graduating senior.”

Congratulated with hearty applause was this year’s scholarship winner, Laura Greco, who Nannicelli said will be taking to college a scholarship boost of $1,000.

Carol Ace, a member whose publicity releases to local media surely accounted for a large portion of the visitors, earned kudos. Thanks also went to members of the club committees whose combined efforts accounted for the event’s success. The “annual ladies” included Pat McAndrew, Nancy Marden and Kathy Picarillo whose table was laden with impatiens, petunias and other seasonal beauties.

The “raffle basket ladies” included Tanya Tenkarian and Dorothy Pitarys. Other members manned the cashier’s table and the holding area where patrons set aside purchases while they shopped for more plants. Louise Allaire, treasurer, assisted her daughter, Michelle Schreib, of Melrose, Massachusetts, and dozens of others to make suitable choices for shade or sun.

Elsewhere, Sue Birch, of Hollis, a 20-year member of the Colonial Garden Club of Hollis, fielded questions from visitors and helped stack a mountain of cardboard boxes whose cargo had been sold.

Meanwhile, Diane Rizzo, a club member for 26 years, offered some unique Mother’s Day gifts. She purchases throughout the year from yard sales and elsewhere dozens of diminutive containers. Each is filled with greenery at sale time. Martin Burns, 11, and his sister, Charlotte, 14, bought for their mother, Sarah, gifts of pansies and petunias nestled into vintage tea cups.

“I’ll do a few things for the children,” Rizzo said. “Today, I did 55 and they’ll all sell out.”

Information on the Colonial Garden Club of Hollis, devoted to gardening, horticulture and conservation, can be had online: hollisgardenclub.org.

Loretta Jackson may be contacted via email: ljackson@nashuatelegraph.com