Mary Lou Mathews and Trudy Baker, members of the Campus Club, organized the two-day event held in the parking lot at the intersection of Samford Avenue and South College Street.
Matthews said although the Campus Club has hosted the event annually since 2000, this was the first year they have shared hosting duties with PLANET, who normally hold a plant sale of their own.
“When we first started, it was a private sale to Campus Club only,” Matthews said. “We had it out at Keisel Park. Then, in 2004, an anonymous donor came forward and offered to help us endow it.”
Shoppers had hundreds of bedding plants, shrubs, trees, roses, groundcovers, climbing vines, herb and vegetable plants, and blueberry and blackberry plants to choose from.
Bags of Auburn-developed ‘MaterDirt, for tomatoes, and ‘TuniaPeat, a potting medium for bedding plants made with spent tea leaves from Milo’s tea, were also available.
Customers Charlotte Hames, a junior in industrial design, and Justin Ryerse, a junior in industrial engineering, attended the sale Thursday after hearing about it on the radio.
“We’re looking for peppers,” Hames said. “We’re tired of buying bell peppers. We just want to grow our own.”
Matthews said a lot of the plants were grown in Auburn, though they were brought in from all over the Southeast.
“The students, of course, were also free to go out and solicit plants for us,” Matthews said. “So, they’ve gone back to their hometowns and other places and said, ‘What would you give us to put in the sale?’”
The proceeds of the event went toward the Campus Club’s First Ladies Scholarship endowment, which awards deserving horticulture students with $1,000 scholarships.
Former first lady Caroline Draughon, wife of Ralph Brown Draughon, organized the Campus Club in 1946.
“It was at that point just a social group for faculty wives,” Matthews said. “Since about 1994, we have started into doing scholarships.”
Each scholarship awarded by the Campus Club is named after a past Auburn University first lady.
Meredith Jedlicka, a junior in horticulture free landscape architecture, said proceeds were also donated toward PLANET to help raise money for their annual trip.
“It’s called ‘Career Days,’ and this year; it was expensive because it was in California,” Jedlicka said. “It’s held at a different university every year. Basically, it’s a competition, but the main point of it is, the entire industry comes out and they give interviews and you go and talk with different companies. It’s where a lot of people find jobs.”
The event was held Friday from 9 a.m. till dark and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Matthews said they hope to hold the annual event for many years to come.
“The turn-out has been great,” Matthews said. “It’s grown every year since we started it.”