Club members recently visited former member Karen H.’s thoughtfully designed and maintained courtyard gardens in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In her approximately half-acre lot, Karen has arranged many trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals around brick patios, pathways, and a private sitting area with two tables. The grounds are all enclosed by either black metal, or wood, fencing, to maintain privacy.
There are emerald green arborvitae, ‘Miss Kim’ lilacs, ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas, and ‘Bridal Veil’ spirea. The Geranium macrorhizzum, ‘Bevins Beauty,’ is used as a groundcover under the ‘Jane’ magnolia and one of two ‘Donald Wyman’ crabapple trees. In addition to ‘May Night’ salvia, there is ‘Caradonna’ salvia, ‘New Dimension’ rose salvia, and ‘Bumbleberry’ salvia. ‘Purple Sensation’ allium and a huge golden-leaved ‘Gold Heart’ bleeding heart both shout their presence. Peonies, forget-me-nots, heuchera, and large white feathery Persicaria polymorphus all also grace the property. There is a clematis against the shed/garage called ‘H.F. Young Queen of the Vines’, and one against a fence called ‘Empress’.
Karen elevated the garden design to another level of artistry, adding a seaside feel by pruning a boxwood in the shape of a whale, and adding blue forget-me-nots in the shape of the spout.
Although the property is surrounded by neighboring houses close by, it has a secluded feel created by the gardens, fences, trees, shrubs, arbors, and doorways. The use of decorations also makes the gardens feel like their own small world, set apart from the rest of the neighborhood. The owner used birdbaths, open spheres, and stone animals and planters to add interest and charm to her gardens.
Club members gathered recently at our annual luncheon, celebrating the accomplishments of 2018-2019. The club is 96 years old now, with an ever-increasing number of works that enhance our community’s gardens, parks, and memorials
During her Annual Report, President Lisa Murray shared a story from the Club’s archives, and gave some facts and figures about this year’s activities. The Plant Sale chairs announced the results of our biggest fundraiser, the May Plant Sale.
We shared a unique menu at the historic Groton School, before we broke for our summer recess.
We would like to thank everyone for a successful plant sale! Read more about our past Plant Sale here and mark your calendars for next year’s sale May 9, 2020.
Preparations are well underway for the 2019 Groton Garden Club Plant Sale to be held on Saturday, May 11, from 8:30 to noon at the Groton Town Hall. The weather is warming and beautiful plants are emerging from their winter rest. There will be a large variety of locally grown perennials and herbs. Special Mother’s Day gifts will be available too. See the Plant Sale page of the website for more details and a preview of what is available. Remember, the sale is held rain or shine. Come early for the best selection.
A friend gave me an article which I will share with you. The author is unknown. It was originally reprinted by the Iowa Federation of Garden Clubs as found in the Luther Burbank District Yearbook.
The Meaning of Garden Club Work
- For some it means the actual gardening, hands in the soil, body in the sun and a vision of color and fragrance and form.
- To some it means the use of flowers as a medium of artistic expression.
- To some it means an opportunity to serve their community by turning the ugly places into beauty spots.
- To some it is a spiritual experience, whereby they may serve God through their gift of flowers to the churches and hospitals and the lonely forlorn.
- To a few, it means the challenge of leadership and personal ability in group work.
- To a very few, it is meaningless, a name on the membership list and a sometime attendance.
- But to many it means making friends, meeting with the old and mingling with the new.
- Garden club work is as complex as the unfolding of a rose and as simple as the face of a daisy. It is social. It is spiritual. It is political. It is educational. It is scientific.
- It is a way of life.
In addition to all this, may I add that the meaning of garden club work to me is getting to know our members and seeing the beautiful results of their hard work. The individuals I’ve met represent all of these areas. They are a caring and concerned group and are willing to lend a helping hand whenever there is a need.
For the next two weeks their helping hands will be in the soil, bringing color and form to a wide variety of plants and hoping to serve their community by turning ugly places into beauty spots at the Plant Sale.
Until next time,
submitted by Penny H
As much as I love my New England garden, I am happy to be able to escape the cold and snow for a bit in the winter. The house we are renting this year on St. Pete Beach, Florida has a lovely butterfly garden. Some of the plants in the garden are familiar to me – Pentas, Hibiscus, Lantana, and Gaillardia. For some others, I had to search for names in the many wonderful gardening books that are in the home. In February I enjoyed some of the flowers we don’t see in our New England gardens.
The Firecracker plant has a long bloom time, and attracts hummingbirds. The Bahama Cassia attracts sulphur butterflies.
The orange Mexican Flame Vine is very fragrant and we have seen Monarch Butterflies on it already. The purple Mexican petunia is a dramatic contrast to the Flame Vine while it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.