Our April membership meeting is devoted to Dirt Diggers, an all-out effort to dig and divide proven perennials from members' gardens which we sell at this event. In 2011, FCGC started Gardenfest with Boyd Community Center, now the Lauri Ann West Community Center. We teamed up with other garden clubs and organizations which promote green gardening practices. What began as a venue to sell our plants and share garden knowledge has morphed into a popular daylong festival with children's activities, an artists' market, food, workshops and so much more. All profits from our plant sale are donated.
We have been a part of this center and it’s Beulah Frey Park for many, many years. We helped in maintaining the Hedgerow area, we supported the prior building (Boyd Community Center) and we helped to fund the building of this new center. Currently we are supporting gardening and environmental education programs.
A large part of our focus in selling perennials at Community Gardenfest involves educating buyers about the cultural needs of plants to ensure success in their own gardens. We do not sell invasive plants- many of which were introduced to agriculture without full knowledge of attributes that might displace native plants from their ecosystems. One has only to look at wetlands taken over by a former popular perennial, Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), to see the extent of damage invasive species can exact.
To that end, our horticulture gallery does not include invasive species. Some of the plants available in retail centers are invasive, including favorites such as Euonymus alatus (burning bush) and Berberis thunbergii (red barberry).
For more information on the environmental impact of invasive species:
A full list of invasive species in Pennsylvania, including those on the “watch list”: