Blooming fine local fund raiser

Joel Goldsmith of Goldsmith Seeds, right, talks with P. Allen

GILROY
– Goldsmith Seeds finished its 38th annual spring trials this
week, and now it’s the public’s turn to bring a little beauty to
their own gardens as the Gilroy Rotary hosts its yearly plant
sale.
GILROY – Goldsmith Seeds finished its 38th annual spring trials this week, and now it’s the public’s turn to bring a little beauty to their own gardens as the Gilroy Rotary hosts its yearly plant sale.

The club’s second largest fund raiser is scheduled for Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Goldsmith greenhouse on Hecker Pass Highway.

After more than 30 years, the Rotary continues to host the plant sale at Goldsmith Seeds, which raises more than $25,000 each year. The money is divided between Goldsmith and the Rotary, which donate the money to more than 18 local non-profit charities, throughout the community.

“People in Gilroy really love to come to this fund raiser because they like to know that their money is going to benefit their local community,” said Ernie Filice, president of the Rotary Club.

Three-fourths of the rotary’s 130 members will be helping on Saturday, and they expect a very large attendance.

“In the past people started lining up at 7 a.m. to get the best flowers and plants,” Filice said.

Rotary members will help with parking and sales, while some avid gardeners will answer questions.

This sale gives the public a chance to purchase Goldsmith’s best flowers, perennials, hanging baskets and plants at a market value price.

“It is so aesthetically beautiful to walk into the Goldsmith greenhouse filled with all of the flowers and plants. It is a feast for the eyes,” said David Cox, who is co-organizer for this year’s sale.

Usually there are only Goldsmith Seeds products available at the plant sale, but this year it partnered with three other companies who will be showcasing their products.

“Our new brand is called the ‘Flower Fields’, which will feature premium plants from the Yoder Brothers, Paul Ecke Ranch and Fischer USA,” said Alecia Troy, marketing manager at Goldsmith Seeds.

She says unlike last year these plants are offered in larger containers and will add a lot more color to a garden.

This year’s spring trials started April 5 and lasted 10 days. The trials are a time for professional buyers, growers, landscapers and retailers to see the company’s new products.

Goldsmith Seeds founder Glen Goldsmith started this competition more than 30 years ago and always has the most dominating show of the 20 others up and down the California coast, Troy said.

This year was no exception. The company decided to add a tented marketplace of 30,000 square feet to the already 40,000 square feet of displays still located in the greenhouses. Troy said the trials exceeded all of her expectations, by drawing more than 2,500 people from all over the world.

She also says this year more than 200 new types of flowers and plants will be available to purchase. The “Swizzle Zinnia’s,” mixed with two colors, and the Geranium, “Caliente,” known for its tolerance to heat, are two to look out for.

Goldsmith Seeds employs 150 people here in Gilroy but has facilities in Kenya, Guatemala and the Netherlands.

The public can expect to see the new “Flower Fields” brand featured at all retail garden centers later this spring.

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