NORTH EAST — This weekend, garden-goers will have the opportunity to flock to St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church for the 20th annual Garden Market.
On Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — rain or shine — vendors, food tables and activities will line the church’s plot. A variety of gardening studies will find representation there, like that of flowers, trees, plants, birdhouses, ceramics and more.
In all, they plan to have more than 50 vendors, according to Garden Market chairperson Dru Torregrossa.
“If everybody shows up, I believe it will be one of our biggest markets ever,” Torregrossa said.
In her first year as the official chairperson of the event, Torregrossa has added several new aspects. For one, the market will include a do-it-yourself tutorial for wreaths and bows on Friday. And on Saturday, there’ll be a question and answer session on floral health and hygiene.
She’s also arranged for several musical performances from local schools. The North East Middle School string ensemble will play at 3 p.m. Friday; the Rising Sun High School chamber choir will perform at 6 p.m.; and the Rising Sun High School string ensemble will play at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“The market provides garden-themed business an opportunity to showcase goods and services that are available in the community, all under one roof,” said Lisa Simon, a member of St. Mary Anne’s Church who’s been helping to generate publicity for the event. “It’s also tangible evidence that St. Mary Anne’s Parish is not just an historic church. It’s also a vibrant church engaging the community.”
Simon and Torregrossa — both longtime members of St. Mary Anne’s — stressed the family focus of the two days, and noted that attendees certainly did not have to qualify as garden aficionados.
“We would love for people to come who aren’t gardeners,” Torregrossa said. “There’s something for everyone. They can produce garden art, there’s a great food court, it’s a really pretty setting. Children can pot marigolds for Mothers’ Day. Even if you’re not a big gardener, there’ll be something of interest there. Maybe just a pot of herbs to put in your kitchen for cooking.”
The Garden Market will be rounded out by tours of the historic church on Saturday. Several members of the congregation, including Simon, will bring plants from their home gardens to sell.
“It’s just been a wonderful parish tradition over the past 20 years,” Simon said. “And it’s grown from a brilliant little idea to something that has flourished and grown.”