TEMPLE TERRACE – Members of the Temple Terrace Garden Club often refer to themselves as “diggers and designers.” That term works for them, judging by the backdrop of the organization’s recently hosted Spring Market.
Woodmont Park, admired throughout the greater Temple Terrace community for its impeccably manicured flowerbeds and its artfully placed plants, was the site of the club’s 10th annual springtime affair.
It’s also where just about any day of the week you’re likely to find at least a handful of garden club members tending to the gardening needs of a place where they’ve taken on the year-round task of maintaining and continually beautifying.
Outfitted in their signature green polo shirts, a large contingent of garden club representatives – from a group whose membership is 115 members strong – was out in force at the park for an event that featured more than 40 vendors and attracted hundreds of area residents and friends.
From bromeliads to orchids to just about every other popular Florida plant imaginable, Woodmont was a paradise for wanna-be and well-seasoned gardeners alike.
Tony Tirado came from Valrico for the fifth consecutive year to tout his wide selection of orchids he grows as a hobby.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” he said. “The people here are amazing in that everyone is so friendly.”
First-time vendor Bruce Lessor of Tampa brought a collection of succulents from his garden.
“I wanted to get rid of some of my stuff so I’d have room to grow more,” Lessor said. “I retired in December and it’s something I enjoy doing.”
Norma Walker, a past president of the club, said the event was about more than people peddling plants, many of which came from members’ own yards.
“We not only sell the plants but we give out information about how to take care of them,” said Walker, who also noted that all the proceeds go towards the club’s cost of caring for and adding new foliage to the park.
Temple Terrace resident Claudia Dold called the affair the “best deal in town” for buying reasonably priced, locally grown plants.
“I look forward to this event every year, not just for good prices on plants but also the camaraderie of the members of the garden club,” Dold posted on the club’s Facebook page.
Plants, however, weren’t the only items for sale.
For instance, Ron and Rene Zagorski were on hand with an assortment of handmade pottery pots; Sam Ferreri was there with a large range of sand-art creations; and Kevin Dugan had a variety of his whimsical metal yard-art pieces on display.
And not everything came with a price tag.
Garden club members manned a booth where youngsters were invited to design their own hats made of newspapers and colorful stickers.
“We set it up to keep the children entertained and busy while their parents are shopping,” said Irene Bosek.
The event’s second-year chairwoman, Patty Cartwright, said she was thrilled with both the turnout and the support provided by her fellow club members.
“You ask for their help and you get it,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful group of people who work very well together, plus we enjoy each other’s company.”
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.