May 22 at 9 a.m. — RUTLAND — A “blooming” partnership was developed when the Covid-19 virus changed our lives. The downtown Rutland Walmart couldn’t fully open when its massive flower and herb seed order arrived in April 2020. Because Walmart’s Garden Center was not considered essential by the state, it needed to be cordoned off. The management at Walmart decided to donate the seed packets to the Rutland Garden Club for use in any of the 20 gardens they maintain in conjunction with the Rutland Parks Dept. They could use them any way they liked to brighten someone’s life. The restrictions were that the seeds could not be sold and the UPC code must be blacked out. No problem.
The Rutland Garden Club started thinking outside the box. First the seeds were offered to any club member for use in the gardens they maintained in the city and for their own gardens to develop pollinator gardens. Next, local schoolsteachers were called and offered seeds, containers and soil mixtures to use with students to create flowering gifts. Next, the club reached out to Melinda Hardt, director of the GreenHouse Learning Center at the Vermont Farmers Market, for seed use at their horticulture program.
In return the GreenHouse Learning Center offered seed packets to needy families and also offered to plant a few dozen pots donated to the Rutland Garden Club by Marge Westcott’s family. The herbs, perennial and annual flowers and vegetables appropriate for Zone 4 planting will be sold at the upcoming Rutland Garden Club plant sale on May 22 at Hull Maynard Hershey Insurance Agency, 105 Center St., Rutland. The plant sale and “Blooming Tulip” quilt raffle ticket sale begins at 9 a.m. and continues until all plants are sold. All attending will be asked to follow Covid-19 protocols: keep 6 feet apart and wear a mask.
What a blooming success! Please mark your calendar and plan to join us!