The Groton Garden Club was formed on April 2, 1923 at the home of Mrs. Willliam P. Wharton. Dues were $2.00. In the ’20s, members planted at Town Hall and Prescott School, pruned shrubs at the town bandstand, and maintained the railroad station plantings and lawn. They contributed funds to the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard Botanical Garden, scholarships to Lowthorpe School, and sent a weekly Mission basket, composed of fruits and flowers from their gardens, to the Benevolent Fruit and Flower Mission in Boston. They exhibited at flower shows in Boston and Groton, held seed and plant exchanges, encouraged dooryard plantings, and visited each other’s gardens.
1930s: first club plant sale, Christmas greens sale, maintained railroad station shrubs and lawn, cleaned up Boutwell House grounds, Mission baskets to Boston. Joined NEWFS (New England Wildflower Society), supported Lowthorpe scholarship fund, planted and maintained a wildflower sanctuary in Town Forest at the edge of the Dead River; but it washed away in Hurricane of 1938. Arranged for the planting of 26 trees on Main Street to replace those lost.
1940s: World War II affected the club profoundly. Regular meetings suspended from 1942–1946. Victory gardens planned and planted, flowers sent to Ft. Devens and Lowell Hospitals. Teas held to benefit Red Cross, seeds sent to England. Mission baskets to Boston; Lowthorpe school scholarships funded, supported NEWFS. Boston Flower Show and local flower shows. Planted trees and bulbs, tended plantings at Ayer Hospital. Children’s gardens planned and planted.
1950s: Mission baskets, annual plant sales, greens sales, and teas. Flowers sent to Fort Devens, bench was donated to the Unitarian church. Local flower shows and Boston Flower Show, special flower show for the Groton Tercentenary. Monies allocated for Lowthorpe scholarships, hurricane tree fund, and plants at Sawyer Common. Members planted trees on Main Street, held a local open house and garden tours, maintained Watering Troughs, and planted gardens for children.
1960s: GGC joined Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs, worked with town to set up the Conservation Commission. Supported NRWA and NEWFS. Garden Therapy program began at the Hale Nursing Home. Funded blueprint of Main Street trees landscape plan, members put in Lindens and Sycamores at the old First National Bank on Main Street. Mission baskets to Boston, plant, bulb, and greens sales were held, participated in flower shows both locally and in Boston. Teas, local open houses and garden tours were held. Members spearheaded an anti-litter campaign.
1970s: 50th anniversary of club along with the nation’s Bicentennial. The celebration included plantings on Town Commons, Historical Society, Post Office, Town Hall, and a float in the Bicentennial parade. Several clean-up projects were initiated, shrubs planted at the “new” landfill side entrance. Maintenance of Prescott Common and the Hollis Street Triangle. Entrance to Ayer hospital beautified. Watering Troughs, Knopp’s Pond area planted. Trees planted for Arbor Day. Flower shows, garden tours, plant and bulb sales, including a boutique, were held. Members attended landscape design school, created a display for Groton Center for the Arts festival, arranged flowers at the Boutwell house, and worked Garden Therapy at the Hale Nursing Home. Supported NRWA and NEWFS, formed a Junior Gardeners group and a Dirt Gardeners club.
1980s: The Marion Nash Memorial Garden at Nashoba Community Hospital was a major club project. Formed two new groups–Birds and Butterflies as a club committee, and Friends of the Trees as an independent group. Maintained the Knopp’s Pond area, Sargisson Beach plantings, Prescott Common, Hollis Street Triangle and the Watering Troughs. Projects included Arbor Day tree planting and landscaping at Petapawag canoe launch. Flower shows, garden tours, bulb planting, and wrapping paper sales continued throughout the decade. A fashion show was held. Supported the NRWA, NEWFS, and high school scholarships. Garden Therapy continued at Hale Nursing Home. Club’s 60th anniversary was celebrated with a cake outside Town Hall.
1990s: Maintained the Marion Nash Memorial Garden at Nashoba Community Hospital. Entries in flower shows–local, Boston and Topsfield Fair. Plant sales and greens sales, bulbs, and wrapping paper fundraisers. Plantings at Prescott Common, Watering Troughs, Petapawag canoe launch, Town Hall. Dug up and replanted Hollis St. Triangle. The library was decorated at Christmas and an Earth Day cleanup was held. Supported NRWA, NEWFS, and high school scholarships. New projects included support for the new Tower Hill Botanic Garden, sale of bluebird houses, bluebird survey, a bald eagle rescue stamp drive, Commissioners Trust Fund lecture, daffodil sale and plantings at the NRWA, the Legion Common and Town Hall.
2000s: Constance Wharton Smith garden at Town Hall designed, planted, and dedicated. The Boutwell House historical gardens were restored, and Boutwell House decorated for Christmas one year. Plants, maintenance and support for the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, created a club website, made decorative boxwood trees to donate to Loaves and Fishes, and formed a new committee for library flowers. In honor of Groton’s 350th celebration, members designed and planted oak barrel planters on Main Street. Ongoing projects included maintenance of Constance Wharton Smith garden at Town Hall, Prescott Common, Hollis St. Triangle, Petapawag canoe launch, Marion Nash Memorial Garden, Watering Troughs. Members participated in Earth Day litter cleanup and Arbor Day tree plantings with the Friends of the Trees. The Garden Therapy committee relocated to a new location at Rivercourt. Daffodil and plant sales, member garden tours held. The club reached out to local youth with junior gardening projects and high school student scholarships. Joined NRWA loosestrife eradication project, and supported the NRWA, NEWFS. Commissioners Trust Fund lectures continued.
2010 to the present: The Blue Star Memorial was designed, planned, and dedicated. Maintained Prescott Common, the Hanson Memorial, Watering Troughs, Hollis St Triangle. New plantings at Groton Country Club, and Town Hall. Supported NRWA, NEWFS, Tower Hill, and the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. Plant sales were successful, boxwood trees made and donated to Loaves and Fishes. Funds granted to Friends of the Trees for replacement of trees lost in the October snowstorm, to Massachusetts Garden Federation to repair tornado damage in central Massachusetts gardens, and to National Garden Clubs for disaster relief. Sponsored Commissioners Trust Fund lecture and Arbor Day plantings, information was shared on invasive species. The 90thanniversary celebration, completed archives, participated in Grotonfest. Funded and planted gardens at Boutwell House near new access ramp, framed 1966-era Main Street Landscape Plans and presented to town. Garden Rx and Four Corners Traffic Island committees formed.