Friend of the Garden courtesy

On Aug. 17 the Friends of the State Botanical Garden will host its annual flea market at the Visitor Center and Conservatory. 

In need of a new nightstand or comfy chair? How about a vintage coffee mug, a string of premature holiday tinsel or even a loom? 

On Aug. 17, Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host its annual flea market at the garden’s Visitor Center and Conservatory

The market, which marks its 15th consecutive year, is an extension of the efforts of the nonprofit organization Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia which supports the mission of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA. Members of the community donate their used possessions to the organization, resulting in an eclectic collection of both staple items and collectible trinkets. 

“We even have a turkey fryer right now — brand spanking new,” said BJ Garrett, the membership chair of the Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. “We got a loom one year.” 

Garrett said a few items new to this year’s market are exercise equipment and beer signs from Germany. Another addition to this year’s market is its storage strategy, consisting of a trailer hauling the donations all year long which has been a “great help.” 

Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia was established in 1972, and President Beverly Morton has been with the organization since 1989. 

“It’s very near and dear to my heart,” Morton said. “The money that we raise goes to buy equipment for the garden.”  

In the past, Morton said the money has helped to pay for tools like cables, golf carts and deer fencing, which keep the garden operating smoothly. 

Membership to the group is volunteer-based and requires a monthly payment. While the organization’s membership levels range from student to senior to family, Garrett said about 70% of members fall into the “senior individual” category. 

“We have just opened the Children's Garden in hoping that young, married couples that have kids will start joining the gardens,” Garrett said. 

Flea market attendees have mostly been non-student residents from Athens-Clarke and surrounding counties, but Morton said she also hopes this year’s market will attract members of the University of Georgia’s student population. 

“Everything is very reasonably priced,” Morton said. “Anyone can come in and buy something.” 

Garrett said the market is an ideal place to furniture shop for an apartment or dorm, with items such as coffee pots to kitchen utensils available for purchase. The flea market opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. which will give attendees enough time to shop around for whatever they may need to support the Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

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