Thousands of plants are rapidly growing in the Nature Center greenhouse for the "Garden FEST" event at the New Canaan Nature Center on Saturday, May 5.

Planned by the Nature Center's preschool families and benefiting the New Canaan Nature Center Preschool, in addition to the plant sale, the day will feature a garden market, gardening workshops and children's activities.

Attendees at this free event, which is open to the public, will have the chance to purchase a variety of plants (herbs, vegetables and flowers) grown from seed in the Nature Center greenhouse as well as perennials divided from local gardens, flowering containers, hanging baskets and more. The locally-grown plants include a variety of heirloom tomatoes, vegetables such as eggplant, red onion, sweet and jabanẽro peppers, broccoli and more. In addition, herbs include basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and cilantro as well as flowers such as lobelia, sunflowers, dianthus, foxgloves, sweet william and a variety of dahlias.

"This will be a fun day for gardeners of all ages and abilities," Amy Sorensen, Garden FEST co-chairman and preschool parent, said. "We're excited to offer a range of plants grown right here in the greenhouse and perennials that are proven to thrive in local gardens."

Attendees may participate in free garden-related workshops and volunteers will offer guided tours of the nature center's extensive herb garden. Arborists and expert representatives from event sponsor SavATree will offer free consultations and lead workshops on pruning and shrub care. There will also be children's activities such as planting a sunflower circle in the nature center's children's play garden, bird house making and Mother's Day card making.

In addition to the plants, a selection of gardening tools, books and accessories will be for sale with a portion of proceeds benefiting the New Canaan Nature Center.

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