Native perennials, landscape flowers and other plants will greet guests this weekend at the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead during the Daisy Days Native Plant sale. The sale will occur from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, according to a press release from the farmstead.
Tours of the farmstead will be available 1-4 p.m. Saturday, with masks required. Guests will be able to purchase locally produced food and a copy of the Bloomington Restorations, Inc.’s book about its affordable housing program.
The Daisy Days event is a celebration of the historic site and the house museum and is an opportunity for gardeners to expand their gardens. It only occurs once a year with the plant sale as its main attraction, according to the release.
This year’s sale will primarily focus on native plants sourced from Spence Restoration Nursery in Muncie, Indiana. Mike Bell, gardening instructor at the farmstead, helped organize much of the sale.
“We’re trying to encourage people to plant things that are appropriate for the area, that won’t be invasive and that will provide a natural service to the birds and bees and whatnot,” Bell said.
A partial list of plants that will be for sale is available on the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead’s Facebook page.
The event is geared toward seasoned gardeners and new ones alike according to the Facebook page, so experts from Indiana Native Plant Society and Monroe County - Identify and Reduce Invasive Species will be available for guidance at the sale.
Bell, who has been gardening since childhood, said he likes the feeling of getting a return on his investment in what he cultivates.
“You put some time in in the fall or spring, and you either get food or flowers and beauty,” Bell said.
The book “From Historical Ruins to Affordable Homes: Saving Bloomington’s Vintage Cottages” by Don Granbois, a former BRI member, will be available for purchase at Daisy Days. It details Bloomington Restorations, Inc.’s house restoration projects.
Granbois said the book will feature photographs of home restoration projects in the before, in-progress and after stages.
“There’s lots of pictures, lots of stories,” Granbois said. “It’s just fun to see a wrecked house come back to life and be restored.”
Granbois said he hopes his book will inspire other organizations to restore old homes. Some of the restored houses are rich with history, he said.
For example, the son of the late Rev. Ernie Butler, a prominent Bloomington civil rights activist, interviewed for the book about living in their house, a parsonage owned by the Second Baptist Church. The church donated the house to BRI, and the organization moved it to a vacant lot and restored it.
The restored homes, subsidized by grants from the state and City of Bloomington, are sold as affordable houses to low-income homebuyers with no profit for BRI.
“They’re worth saving, that’s kind of the point we want to make,” Granbois said.
The Hinkle-Garton Farmstead, managed by BRI, is the only historic farmstead in Bloomington, Steve Wyatt, director of BRI said. The farmstead opens for tours once a month.
Built in 1892, the farmstead housed three generations of the Hinkle family and was so beloved by its final owner, Daisy Garton, that she ensured it would be preserved after she died in 2003, Wyatt said.
“It really does give people a view into what used to be,” Wyatt said.