Bedford’s 61st Annual First Parish Plant and Craft Fair is a major church and community event that offers a large selection of Heritage Perennials gleaned from several generations of Bedford gardens along with a Grocery Garden of delicious tomato plants from Verrill Farm, fragrant herbs and vibrant veggies, the very healthiest ordinary nursery-grown and specialty annuals.
Heritage perennials have generously come from gardens around Bedford since the fair began. Some of the plants expected at this year’s event are granddaughters of the original cuttings that were purchased at the fair years ago.
To assure that the newly-dug transplants will be happily ensconced in their new pots and ready for sale at the fair on May 17, Plant Coordinator Jean Balfour, the daughter of one of the Fair’s founders, encourages gardeners to start the digging plants they would like to share this weekend.
“I see some signs of green poking up,” said Balfour, “so I’ll be digging some day lilies, blue bachelor buttons, lamium, iris, cranesbill geraniums, various kinds of phlox. Forget-me-nots are up and showing flower buds.” There will also be some May Apples that came originally from founder Eva Schafer’s garden. And one or two pots of the pink lilies of the valley that were reputedly brought to Bedford from Parish often make an appearance. Plants are particularly popular, Balfour noted, but trees and shrubs are also welcome. If you need containers or advice about what to dig, please call 275-4556.
In addition to the great plants, there also will be plenty of family fun, interesting artisans and crafters, Chip-in Farm’s 4H club petting zoo, and a few special surprises.
Planning for the 61st annual First Parish Plant and Craft Fair on May 17, 2014 is underway.
Sandy Boczenowski is taking reservations from returning, and newly found, crafters. If you’d like to investigate what it would take to bring your craft to Bedford Common and take part in the fun, click here to download the application/fact sheet.
And, before you know it, we’ll be selling pansies during coffee hour!
This time next Saturday, May 18, Bedford Common will be abuzz with activity as we put the final touches on the plant area, help the more than 50 crafters unload their wares and launch their tents, listen to the first of our live music entertainers, serve morning coffee and donuts to the workers and the first customers waiting for the plant area to open when the clock strikes 10.
Marty Schaefer and Jan Sacks with samples of the blooms in their garden last weekend
First Parish Plant Fair stalwarts Marty Schaefer and Jan Sacks of Joe Pye Weed’s Garden were among the participants at last week’s Lyceum. They brought a selection of blossoms from their garden – daffodils, one with a bloom the size of a shirt button; hellebores; and flowering twigs – to spark enthusiasm among the gathered gardeners.
We’re just four weeks out from the fair — if you have heritage perennials to share from your garden, pot them up now and keep them watered until you bring them to the Common.
The 60th Annual First Parish Plant & Craft Fair will take place on Bedford Common from 10 am until 3 pm on Saturday, May 18.
2014: The 61st Annual First Parish Plant & Craft Fair
Begun in 1953 with a small plant sale in a parishioner's yard, the fair has grown over time to include family fun, lunch, a bake sale and also a well-regarded craft fair.
In 2014 the plants will include hearty annuals grown locally as well as specialty annuals from Maine, a grocery garden, and heritage perennials from First Parish members' gardens.
This year's family fun will include live music, the Chip-In Farm/Bedford 4H Club petting zoo, face painting and spectacular bubbles by The Bubble Guy!