About Us

Our History

In the early 1960’s, Amherst, NH was a much smaller town than it is today. As the decade continued, the town’s population began to grow at a rapid rate. With the influx of new residents came new energy and ideas.

In 1970, a talented artist, gardener, and landscaper named Anne Colby Hines invited a group of friends who were interested in gardening to her home to talk about starting a garden club. There was interest in beautifying areas around town, helping the town maintain these areas, and learning more about the latest gardening practices.

The Amherst NH Garden Club was formed in the fall of 1971. The club’s first organizational meeting took place at the Amherst Town Library. About 35 men and women attended. Mrs. Richard (Marjorie) Lions called the meeting to order. Later, she would become the club’s first president. 


  • President: Jeanne Johnson
  • Vice President: Elise Lutz
  • Secretary: Sally Varanka
  • Treasurer: Christy Belvin


  • Kathie Breen
  • Michelle Bresnahan
  • Nancy Head
  • Hannah McCarthy
  • Diana Owen
  • Laurie Wenger
  • Barbara Williams

Past Presidents

2021-2022 — Marti Warren
2020-2021 — Kathy Brundage
2018-2020 — Becky Stoughton
2016-2018 — Doffie Farrar
2014-2016 — Sue Spiess
2012-2014 — Trese Gilligan
2009-2012 — Sue Alger
2006-2009 — Marti Warren
2004-2006 — Andrea Maniglia
2003-2004 — Kem Vassallo
2001-2003 — Jan Brown
1999-2001 — Ginger Brown
1997-1999 — Karen Woodbury
1995-1997 — MaryAnne Conaway
1993-1995 — Anne Krantz
1992-1993 — Paula Schmida
1990-1992 — Joyce Kingman
1989-1990 — Marcia Richards
1988-1989 — Carol Smith
1987-1988 — Patricia Lamont
1985-1987 — Midge Trivers
1984-1985 — Edith Martini
1982-1984 — Betty Dilley
1981-1982 — Barbara Delier-Jacobs
1979-1981 — Prudence Heslam
1975-1979 — Mary Jewett
1973-1975 — Anne Colby Hines
1971-1973 — Marjorie Lion

Charitable Fund

The Amherst Garden Club maintains a Charitable Fund from which we have granted funds for local, community projects that align with our mission:

“…to provide education resources and networking opportunities for our members to promote the love of gardening, civic landscaping and environmental responsibility.”

Organizations or individuals with proposals for projects that are consistent with our mission may apply for a grant. Grant applications can be submitted at any time of year and are reviewed as they are received.

Past Grant and Gift Recipients

  • 2021 — Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley Edible Garden Reboot Project and NH Audubon Society/Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary
  • 2019 — Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley Edible Garden Project
  • 2018 — The Amherst Garden Shed Project and the Master Gardeners Free Seed Program
  • 2017 — Amherst Town Library (picnic table and benches in the rear garden
  • 2015 — Joshua’s Park/Community Gardens and Mont Vernon Elementary School (to establish children’s gardens and a garden curriculum)
  • 2013 — The Society for the Preservation of NH Forests
  • 2012 — SHARE
  • 2011 — Sustainable Garden Program at Amherst Middle School and garden projects at Souhegan High School
  • 2010 — SHARE
  • 2009 — SHARE Christmas Program
  • 2008 — Sustainable Garden Program at Souhegan High School and garden projects at Amherst Middle School
  • 2007 — Amherst Town civic projects (beautification)
  • 2006 — Peabody Mill Environmental Center/Educational equipment
  • 2005 — Amherst Town Library (sitting area & gardens in back of the library)
  • 2004 — Peabody Mill Environmental Center Building Fund
  • 2003 — Purgatory Watershed Conservancy (purchase of 78 acres in Mont Vernon)
  • 2002 — The Heritage Commission/Brick School Beautification Project
  • 2001 — Garden Benches/Parkhurst Place, Amherst
  • 2000 — Community Hospice in Merrimack (landscaping efforts)
  • 1999 — Amherst Meetinghouse (church steeple fund)
  • 1998 — MAP PROJECT @ Joe English Reservation & Pond Parish Trails
  • 1997 — Sheldrick Forest Preserve — The Nature Conservancy
  • 1996 — The Society for the Preservation of NH Forests
  • 1995 — The Lost Village of Monson
The Amherst Garden Club provided the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley with funds for their gardening project (photo credit: Nashua Telegraph)


The Amherst Garden Club has the opportunity to impact the future of our planet and to keep it safe and healthful, as well as beautiful. We believe we can do this by educating individuals and by encouraging students to choose environmentally conscious careers.

Budget permitting, The Amherst Garden Club awards a scholarship to encourage promising students from Amherst or Mont Vernon who will be attending an institute of higher learning to study horticulture, botany, plant science, landscape design, or environmental science as it relates to horticulture.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024


  • Applicants must be residents of Amherst or Mont Vernon, NH.
  • Applicants must be high school seniors or high school graduates of any age (e.g., adult learners returning to college).
  • Applicants must matriculate to an institute of higher learning.
Scholarship recipient Steve Upton is working towards an M.S. in Vineyard and Winery Management

How do I make horticulture a career?

Check out Seed Your Future, a movement to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants (created by Longwood Gardens and the American Society for Horticulture Science).