Garden Deals, History, and Future Sustainability

There aren’t many families that spend generation after generation on the same piece of property, even in the land of steady habits. But in the midst of the hustle and bustle that dots much of Connecticut, not too far from the banks of the Connecticut River and the unique East Haddam Swing Bridge, lives a family that personifies steady habits. This weekend, July 7 and 8, the Ballek family celebrates 350 years of life on the same piece of property, now well known as Ballek’s Garden Center.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ballek’s traditionally holds its Plant and Garden Tag Sale the weekend after our nation celebrates Independence Day, and this year is no different. For those looking to fill their gardens with greenery and interest, Ballek’s tag sale offers great deals. Local gardeners, including yours truly, often fill their cars and trucks with shrubs, trees, perennials, and annuals.

This weekend there will be more than great bargains to celebrate. The Ballek’s will have displays on compost and compost teas, native plants, rain barrels and water conservation, and herbs for health. They will hold tours of their huge array of solar panels that produce electricity and hot water for the nursery and farm, and provide visitors with information about solar power. The celebration also includes a book sale, local food producers, music and activities for children, and information on open space conservation.

Ballek’s Garden Center is built around the farm structures remaining from previous dairy farming. Their red barn stores a vast array of garden pots, tools and supplies. Their silo is surrounded by containers of perennials, vegetables and annuals. Their greenhouses are filled with everyday and unusual plants. They know and grow organic, and the family matriarch, Anita, is a living, breathing horticultural encyclopedia. Have a plant question? Ask a Ballek.

The Plant and Garden Tag Sale runs from 9 am to 5 pm on July 7, and 9 am to 4 pm on July 8. At 5:30 pm on Saturday, July 7, the Ballek family, already historically steeped in land stewardship, will hold dedication ceremony when they will renew their commitment to protecting land for future generations, and will ask others to pledge the same.

Come to Ballek’s Garden Center in East Haddam to share a Connecticut family’s history with the land.

They know how to garden thoughtfully.

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4 comments for “Garden Deals, History, and Future Sustainability

  1. July 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t often get down there, but Ballek’s is a treasure.

    Great article on native plants in the CT Gardener magazine this month. You did a nice job with a complex and tricky topic!

    • July 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Ballek’s is one of the many treasures in East Haddam, Laurrie.

      Glad you liked the article … my next post will cover it.

  2. July 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Wish I was going to be in Connecticut this weekend! We have great family nurseries in Bellingham, WA, too, and I treasure their wealth of native plants and information. It’s often a challenge for those folks to compete with cheap plants from WalMart and Home Depot, so I often “plug” my favorite nurseries.

    • July 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      So glad to hear that you plug local nurseries, Tiny Tim’s Garden. I avoid buying plants from big box stores. The extra green I spend at local nurseries pays back in healthier plants and having great relationships with people who live, breath, garden in and share my desire to keep my region thriving.

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