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Haydenville shop ushers in spring with flowers and ice cream

  • Violas for sale at  The Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville .t <br/>LAURA RODLEY

    Violas for sale at The Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville .t
    LAURA RODLEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Above, Bailly Morse of Cummington waits on Mike Konarski of Williamsburg, who stopped at the Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville recently to buy his favorite chocolate soft serve ice cream. The garden store and ice cream shop just reopened for spring.<br/>Below, violas at  The Village Green are among the first plants to go on sale each year. <br/>LAURA RODLEY

    Above, Bailly Morse of Cummington waits on Mike Konarski of Williamsburg, who stopped at the Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville recently to buy his favorite chocolate soft serve ice cream. The garden store and ice cream shop just reopened for spring.
    Below, violas at The Village Green are among the first plants to go on sale each year.
    LAURA RODLEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Violas for sale at  The Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville .t <br/>LAURA RODLEY
  • Above, Bailly Morse of Cummington waits on Mike Konarski of Williamsburg, who stopped at the Village Green Greenhouse in Haydenville recently to buy his favorite chocolate soft serve ice cream. The garden store and ice cream shop just reopened for spring.<br/>Below, violas at  The Village Green are among the first plants to go on sale each year. <br/>LAURA RODLEY

For 27 years, Haydenville has had its own flower show, of sorts, with the appearance each spring of the many violas and pansies nodding their heads on tables outside The Village Green Greenhouse at 93 Main St. (Route 9).

Wearing thick denim jackets and moving quickly, last week husband and wife Mark and Annette Larareo of Williamsburg were replenishing their stock of these springtime flowers, which are grown in their greenhouses, as people stopped and bought gifts for the Easter weekend. They had just reopened their store and ice cream shop, where customers were lining up to buy soft serve and hard ice cream and frozen yogurt despite the chilly weather.

Mark Larareo’s parents, Joseph and Jeannette Larareo of Williamsburg, started the business 27 years ago, so he was weaned on horticulture. His parents still help out, occasionally. Annette Larareo started working full time with him five years ago.

As always, Mother Nature holds the reins.

“Last year at this time it was 80 degrees and we got slammed,” said Annette Larareo, taking a short break from setting up stock. This year’s weather demands wearing coats.

Still, she said, “The after-school kids are having fun,” stopping by for ice cream. A lot of local teens’ first jobs are serving up ice cream at the shop, she said.

“Customers are encouraged that spring is actually coming; the violas and pansies are the first sign of spring,” she said, although it’s too cold to leave them out this year. The couple brings them back into the greenhouse each night. The couple have three working greenhouses, growing plants timed to rotate stock for spring, summer and fall. Along with containers, fertilizer, shovels, seeds, watering cans, mulch and annuals for sale, this year they have 240 rose bushes, she said.

•••

Photography exhibit

Amateur photographer Mari H. Hall of Worthington seeks to capture her love of the Hilltowns, nature and travel in her images.

“Because my love of nature is paramount, it is reflected in most of my photos,” she said. “When we stop to really take a look, it stops our busy world; these moments stop it. Moments are a chance for people to just be.”

An opening reception for her first show, “Moments,” will take place Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. The show is presented by Arts Alive in the Hilltowns and the Worthington Historical Society at the corner of routes 112 and 143, where the exhibit will be on display.

Retired from teaching health education in the Amherst Regional School District, she is now a certified professional life coach working out of her home. Her job involves helping people decide what career or direction they want to pursue.

“It is a new adventure,” Hall said. “I love the work. I find it really challenging, in a positive way.”

The exhibit will also be open Sunday and April 13 and 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Though free, donations are accepted.

•••

Wanna dance?

Dust off your dancing shoes. Everybody is invited to the Intergenerational Early Spring dance that will take place at the Chesterfield Senior Center at the Chesterfield Grange Hall on Saturday. Northampton resident and fiddler Katherine First, a teacher at New Hingham Regional Elementary School in Chesterfield, will play with her band, Kitchen Party, at the dance, which is jointly sponsored by the Chesterfield COA, the Cultural Council and New Hingham School PTO. Band members include Buddy Downey on guitar and vocals, Lori Rozenfield on banjo and Jeff Hendrichs on drums and percussion. Gretchen Burdick of Deerfield will be the dance caller.

Refreshments will be sold by New Hingham sixth-graders, who are raising money for their class trip to Boston in June.

The dance, which is free, will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information, call Cyndy Sperry at 296-0321.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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