Garden club offers herbs from “A to Y”

Published 7:56 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The gardeners behind beautification efforts across Washington are sharing their love of plants this weekend.

Saturday, the Washington Garden Club will host its annual Herb Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North Carolina Estuarium. The sale will be located in the Nature Room on the riverside of the building.

Including pass-along plants grown by the garden club members and gently used garden accessories, the sale is known for its mature herb plants “from A(anise) to Y(yarrow)” grown and delivered to the sale by Dorita Boyd, owner of Raindrop Ridge herb farm on Camp Leach Road, according to sale organizer Mary Pat Musselman.

“She has been providing us with amazing herbs for several years,” Musselman said. “She comes with a truck full of herbs.”

The herb sale is Washington Garden Club’s major fundraiser each year, the funds from which allow garden club members to spruce up, plant and maintain a variety of gardens around Washington: at the corner of Market and Third streets; the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center; a Brown Library; and the rose garden at Harding Square at the base of Market Street.

“We have such a wonderful committee that oversees that,” Musselman said, giving credit to Water Street resident Dee Congleton as the main force behind the beautification efforts. “She takes beautification of the town to heart. It’s what she loves to do.”

Those of a gardening mind can find much more than herbs used for seasoning food at the herb sale: plenty are used in landscaping, such as sage; many are flowering, such as a lavender; and even some, such as citronella and lemon balm, ward off mosquitoes.

The only herb that won’t be found at the herb sale is green basil, as crops across North Carolina seem to be failing this year.

“Something is happening to the green basil, so we won’t have that, but we will have all the other kinds (of basil),” Musselman said.

Musselman encouraged herb hunters to come early.

“It goes to 1 o’clock, but we certainly didn’t go to 1 last year,” Musselman said. “We sold out everything except for three plants last year, so it was a very successful herb sale, and it’s especially helpful that the Farmer’s Market is right across the street.”

The North Carolina Estuarium is located at 223 Water St., Washington.