This is one October weekend when locals don't have far to drive to find great garden bargains or an intriguing garden. That's right East Haddam residents … all can be found within town boundaries.
For garden-related bargains it's tough to beat one of the tag sales run by Ballek's Garden Center. If you missed their summer tag sale you missed out on some great plant deals. But don't fret, you have a second chance this Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, 2011. Ballek's staff start filling the tag sale area early Saturday morning and continue adding goodies – plants, shrubs, trees, ornamentation, pots, and other garden stuff – throughout the weekend. The photos here show Ballek's before their last October sale. You'll have to visit to see what's waiting for you this year. Get directions to Ballek's here, and if you miss the tag sale you still have the chance for 20% off deals on most perennials and all shrubs, trees, outdoor planters and outdoor furniture, and up to 50% off some other items.
Head to Staehly Farms with kids in tow to stock up on Staehly-grown apples, winter squash and other vegetables, choose pumpkins, gourds and Autumn decorations, grab a few gorgeous mums, and find end-of-season bargain perennials. Staehly's has a large supply of Jack-o-lantern ready pumpkins just waiting for a home and plenty of unusual, even bizarre, shaped large gourds for the more adventurous Jack-o-lantern carvers. The kids will get into the Halloween spirit after a walk through Staehly's special Halloween maze. Pick up a gallon of cider, choose fresh CT-made pies and cheese, and try one of Staehly's jarred condiments. A visit to Staehly's (directions here) is the perfect Autumn family outing. My granddaughter calls Staehly's Gail's House … Gail and Chris really know how to welcome kids.
Gardeners and garden lovers looking for inspiration and, maybe, some ideas on how to use their newly found plant bargains have a rare opportunity on Sunday, October 9, 2011. From noon until 4pm, East Haddam gardener and garden writer Lee May opens his Asian-inspired, herb, sedum, and ornament gardens to visitors. You'll have to pay $5 for the privilege, but collected fees do good, they support educational programs offered by The Connecticut Horticultural Society (CHS). In addition to the many wonderful educational meetings CHS offers to members and the public, CHS ran multiple tours of private gardens this year. Lee's garden happens to be the last of the season. Visit CHS Garden Tours for more information on the tour. Maybe I'll see you there. If you can't make it to the tour you might get some peeks at the garden at Lee May's Gardening Life.
A beautiful weekend is forecast so get out and enjoy the local offerings.