The Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons will hold its 18th annual Garden Fair on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Historical Society at Main Street and Corwith Avenue on May 16 and 17. With a tent in place to shelter plants and shoppers from inclement weather, the show will go on rain or shine.
A benefit preview party will start things off on Friday, May 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. This early-bird gala, with admission $50 at the gate, gives gardeners the first and best choice of everything collected for the fair. Preview guests will have exclusive access to rare, new and unusual items assembled at a Plant Connoisseurs’ Table, chances to win a range of raffle prizes donated by leading East End retailers and restaurants, and the opportunity to bid in a “Chinese” auction for specific gifts. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
On Saturday, May 17, admission to the general plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. is free to all. As in past years, perennials, roses, annuals, shrubs and small trees were produced for the fair by local growers, and include many uncommon, hard-to-find specimens. These include a large choice of vines, from hardy clematis to tender tropicals; striking foliage plants like coleus for pot arrangements in shade or sun; new cultivars of the star performer shrub rose “Knock Out”; and a selection of miniature cattleya orchids from Bianchi-Davis Greenhouses.
Fair organizers have made an effort to choose as many deer-resistant plants as possible—specimens that the deer appear to leave alone, though their changing tastes can’t be guaranteed. This year, a new “Deer Deterrence” table will offer live consultation with a local expert on deer problems.
Additionally, hundreds of plants dug, divided and donated by Horticultural Alliance members from their own gardens—named varieties of perennials and small shrubs—will be available at attractive prices. Also on sale will be gently used gardening books from the group’s Horticultural Library.
The Garden Fair’s large volunteer staff is chaired by Ron Chapman; Pat Matheson is in charge of the preview party. All proceeds will support the nonprofit group’s activities to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of gardening on the East End. These include monthly lectures, the renowned Horticultural Library, scholarships for horticulture students, and a community education program for all ages.
For more information, call the Horticultural Alliance office in Bridgehampton, 537-2223, or visit www.hahgarden.com.