Greens Market Enhances Holiday Spirit for 71 Years

The Rochester Garden Club’s annual Greens Market will offer a one-stop shopping experience for holiday decorations, gifts and goodies in downtown Rochester for the 71st year in a row. On November 30, December 1 and 2, the Greens Market will return to the spacious and conveniently located Rochester Schools Administration Center at 501 W. University just west of Main Street. In this expanded setting, shoppers will find a festive display of affordable fresh greens, fresh and permanent table arrangements, baked goods and one of a kind gifts for the holiday season staffed by knowledgeable club members to help customers select just what they need.

Rochester Garden Club volunteers for Greens Market - photo by Michael Dwyer

Rochester Garden Club volunteers for Greens Market – photo by Michael Dwyer

The Opening Gala on Thursday evening, November 30 between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., begins this three-day event. For a $5.00 entrance fee, shoppers can enjoy a lovely evening, sampling snacks and beverages while shopping for beautiful handmade gifts, gourmet foods and fresh and permanent arrangements. “This is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season, and get a head start on all the shopping,” said Jane Giblin, co-chair of the event. “But don’t worry if you cannot come on Thursday evening. We will replenish our stock with new items for the sale on Friday and Saturday.” Market Days are held on Friday, December 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday December 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a $2.00 entrance fee.

Michigan Themed Mittens - photo by Michael Dwyer

Michigan Themed Mittens – photo by Michael Dwyer

On Friday, December 1 at 2:00 p.m., customers will be treated to a demonstration by one of the club’s best designers on making a mailbox swag. “Many people like to decorate so friends and family feel welcomed to their home,” said club member Ethel Stepnitz. “This demonstration will show how easy it is to decorate the first thing most people see when coming over, the mail box. It sets the mood for the entire home.”

Between four and five hundred people shop at the marketplace each year, and many are return customers. “We see familiar faces, friends and family each year”, said Pat Hambleton, Greens Market co-chair. “Our club members really look forward to being a part of this exciting event and connecting with the community.”

Cookies and Yummy Stuff - photo by Michael Dwyer

Cookies and Yummy Stuff – photo by Michael Dwyer

The Greens Market offers a selection of fresh greens that many customers use to decorate the exterior and interior of their homes. Cedar, pine and mixed evergreen roping will be available by the coil or yard. Noble fir and boxwood wreaths as well as swags in various sizes are sold, and may be embellished by one of our hand tied bows. Bows can even be custom made from our wide selection of ribbons so customers can take home just the right touch. Prepackaged bags of blue berried juniper, boxwood, incense cedar, white pine, holly and ornamental stems make it easy to create your own arrangements.

Most customers leave the Greens Market with at least one of the lovely fresh or permanent arrangements created by talented club members. Over 500 one-of-a-kind permanent wreaths, table arrangements, trees and swags designed for seasonal decorating are made each year.  The fresh arrangements are created from greens locally cut just prior to the sale. “They are made by our designers just days before the sale,” explains designer Gerri Hintz, “and will last well into the New Year.” They range in size from simple mugs filled with greens and ribbon to elaborate table centerpieces.

Greens Market 2016 was held at the Rochester Schools Administration Center - photo by Michael Dwyer

Greens Market 2016 was held at the Rochester Schools Administration Center – photo by Michael Dwyer

Customers often find just the right one of a kind gift for that special person. Handmade items are created by club members throughout the year to be featured at the sale. Pillows, fun mittens, knitted hats and scarves, handmade ornaments, toys and games and much more will be offered. A wonderful variety of herbal items, delicious homemade cookies and gourmet delights are also very popular. Pet owners always love our offerings of homemade dog treats and cat toys.

Regular customers know that shopping at the Greens Market means supporting the greater Rochester area. All proceeds are returned to the community in the areas of conservation, education, scholarships, horticulture therapy, and civic improvement. The club supports the Children’s Garden at Van Hoosen Farm, preschool planting programs in Rochester schools, college scholarships, summer camp scholarships with the 4-H clubs, annual flower plantings at parks and public spaces, Dinosaur Hill, Seven Ponds Nature Preserve, The Wildflower Association of Michigan, Clinton River Watershed Council, and many other causes. The Rochester Garden Club, a branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association, has received civic recognition over the years for its contributions to the quality of life in our community. New members are welcome.

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