Black Mountain Beautification Committee hosts Garden Sale for 17th year after brief hiatus
The spring Garden Sale, hosted by the Black Mountain Beautification Committee, will return May 20 and 21 for the first time since 2019.
"The purpose of the garden sale was to bring together growers from all over the surrounding area so that the community could go and buy directly from the grower," said Libba Fairleigh, a member of the Beautification Committee who organized the Garden Sale in previous years. "It was a benefit for the people of Black Mountain."
After organizing the sale for the past eight years, Fairleigh handed the reins to Roynan Jones as the new Garden Sale coordinator.
"People come to our town, they see the garden containers, they see the Town Square with the gardens," Jones said. "This is part of the attraction of coming to Black Mountain."
Fairleigh said the Beautification Committee used to receive a small allowance from the town, but it was too low to accomplish all the necessary projects. She said it wasn't that the town wasn't generous, it simply didn't have funds to offer the committee more.
"It's a great plant sale," said Mayor Larry Harris. "The inventory's great and it's just a great occasion."
According to Fairleigh, Harris is always the first person at the Garden Sale and he and his wife have been longtime supporters.
Harris said this presents an opportunity for the town to support the Beautification Committee's work.
"It's a great way to support the Beautification Committee," Harris said. "The Beautification Committee does so much for Black Mountain and they use the money so widely."
After holding a silent auction for many years at the Monte Vista Hotel, the Beautification Committee came up with the idea for a clothesline sale as a feature of the Garden Sale, offering services submitted by committee members at fixed prices.
This year's clothesline sale features goods and services such as flower arrangements, guided hikes, food, handmade art and landscaping, among other things.
"You come in, you buy it, you walk out with it," Fairleigh said.
The Garden Sale also features a raffle.
Jones said even though the Garden Sale requires a lot of work from the Beautification Committee, it's a celebration for the community.
"It's not just coming to buy plants, it's seeing familiar friends and making new ones," Jones said.
Since vendors are not permitted to sell goods within Town Square, the Garden Sale will take place in the adjacent parking lot. This year, the Beautification Committee boasts 17 vendors.
Vendors represent nurseries and farms, sell herbs, bee products and of course, many plants. According to committee members, many vendors return to the Garden Sale every year, dedicated to the Black Mountain community even when other events take place in neighboring towns.
"The money we make from the booths is almost a wash compared to what we have to spend," Jones said. "It's in the thousands for our expenses."
Registration for vendors is $100 for a small booth, $125 for a larger setup and $150 for the largest, starting at 10-by-10.
"It really is more a gift to the community than a huge money-maker," Fairleigh said. "It's a lot of work."
"It takes the whole Beautification Committee," Jones agreed.
The Black Mountain Garden Sale will take place May 20 from 4-8 p.m. and May 21 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.