Just in time for Mother's Day, Michaela's Garden plant sale begins 

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 9:31 am

By Maura Gaffney | 0 comments


Vicky Scott, vice-president of Friends of the Library, began organizing the plant sale last spring, and the project seemed to take on a life of its own.


Scott set out to simply support the Plainville library and possibly help reenergize the Friends of the Library organization. With an aging membership, Scott thought the group could use some new blood and fresh ideas.


“I came to a meeting, and I walked out as vice-president,” Scott said with a laugh. “I didn’t see a lot of things other than book sales going on, so I wanted to try something new. I decided to do something with plants to try to raise money.


After some inquiries, Scott was referred to the ‘Michaela’s Garden Project.’ The Petit Family Foundation website explains its history: “After the tragic July 2007 home invasion and fire in Cheshire, CT, that took the lives of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela, family members visited the home site to see if anything of value could be salvaged. Little was left. One exception was the many flowers and foliage plants that Bill and Michaela had planted and maintained over the years. One flower in particular was dear to Michaela—her Four O’Clocks. Because of that, the Four O’Clocks were dug up, brought to Plainville, CT and replanted.


When the plants came up again in subsequent years, Michaela’s uncle, the late Dennis Chapman, decided to collect the seeds and plant more flowers.


“Dennis planted, and then he picked more seeds,” said Scott. “He planted and he picked and then he planted again. Next thing you know other people wanted to have the plants as a remembrance, and it just kind of happened.


Chapman began taking donations for the seeds and put the money toward the Petit Family Foundation.


As soon as Scott met with Chapman and his wife, Hanna Petit Chapman, she knew she wanted to partner with Michaela’s Garden for the library plant sale.


Scott worked with the Chapmans and dozens of other generous individuals, companies and organizations to coordinate the event. Throughout the planning process, Scott was constantly amazed at the number of people willing to donate time and money to help with the project.


A teacher at a Glastonbury Vo-Ag school volunteered to test-grow the plants with her students several months ahead of the sale. The class worked in the greenhouse to determine the best time to plant the flowers, assuring they would be just the right size on Mother’s Day.


Always Bloomin floral salon donated enough foil to wrap 500 plants. The local Agway donated soil. The manager of the Gulf gas station on New Britain Road donated cards for free cups of coffee. Gulf also offered to sell plants at the gas station, as did the Plainville School of Cosmetology, Gnazzo’s Food Center, Apple Rehab, The Women’s Club of Plainville, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, the Senior Center, and many more.


To Scott, it seemed that every time she needed something for the project, someone would step forward to provide it.


Plantsare available in four-inch cow pots and will be sold at the library, Gulf station, 181 New Britain Ave., and Plainville School of Cosmetology, 65 Whiting St., Monday to Saturday, May 6 to 11 during regular business hours; Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain campus, 100 Grand St., Tuesday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Gnazzo’s Food Center, 73 East St., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Plainville Senior Center, 200 East St., Tuesday to Thursday the week before Mother's Day.

For more information, email askmenowprograms@gmail .