Photo: Peter Blasl

The East End Garden Festival wraps up today at Tanger Outlets and there are still plenty of plants available before the sale ends this afternoon.

The garden festival, now in its 26th year, is hosted by the Rotary Club of Riverhead and benefits Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Operation International, a volunteer organization of doctors and nurses created in 1996 to provide free medical care to the poor all over the world.

Riverhead physician Dr. Raj Patel is a member Riverhead Rotary and a member of Operational International, formerly known as International Surgical Mission Support. Patel has made more than two dozen surgical mission trips over the past 20-plus years, providing medical and surgical care to poor people in Africa, South America, Central America, India and Asia.

The cold, rainy weather all week slowed down sales at this year’s garden festival, leaving the volunteers who are running the festival with a lot of stock still on hand today.

The giant tent sale offers potted plants, flats, shrubs, trees — many grown by local nurseries and greenhouses that generously donate their plants.

“This is a great chance to do some last-minute Mother’s Day shopping or buy new items for your own garden,” Patel said.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.