We’re members of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, which hosts an annual plant sale that offers an impressive array of annuals, perennials, shrubs and small trees.  Usually held in early May, one of the benefits of being a member is the opportunity to attend the member’s-only preview, and get the first crack at the good stuff!

The sale has changed over the years. At one time, boxed dinners and wine were served as you socialized, perused plants or picnicked on the lawn. While that’s no longer the case, we’re really there for the plants. We arrived just a half hour into the event and eager gardeners were streaming to the checkouts with their haul of plants.

This year, the theme is the collector’s garden. We noticed many unusual varieties. We picked up some ginger, which should be interesting!


Shelves display a variety of annuals and perennials

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Nurseries and greenhouses near and far donate a wide variety of plants each year

While it took many years for our garden to develop, today our modest yard can barely hold another plant  (though M. would be happy to sacrifice lawn mowing to more garden beds!).  So, my focus today was mainly finding plants and herbs to make May Day baskets.

I’m hosting May Day brunch this Sunday. May Day is a wonderful and unique tradition at Bryn Mawr College.  Sophomores rise at dawn to pick flowers for the seniors. Everyone dresses in white and eats strawberries and cream while sipping champagne for breakfast.  There’s May Pole dancing, hoop races through the blooming lane of cherry trees on the green, viewing of the The Philadelphia Story at midnight, and more. But overall, it’s a day of just hanging out in the sun on the green, which is welcome ahead of the finals coming up in just a couple of weeks.  The day ends in a step-sing, one of my favorite college traditions.

My alma mater has so many great traditions, some going back to the beginning of the college,  and I’m sure many new ones by now.  It will be nice to enjoy a little May Day festivity with these local Bryn Mawr friends, with our own way of celebrating, now so many years away from campus.