|With The Amherst Garden Club now in existence over 40 years, you may ask how did our club get its start? The minutes from the first organizational meeting tell it all. A group of approximately 35 people (men and women) attended the meeting held at the Amherst Town Library. Mrs Richard (Marjorie) Lions called the meeting to order and in time would become the first president of the club that began the fall of 1971.
Interest in beautifying areas around town and helping the town maintain these areas as well as learning more about the latest gardening practices spurred the group on. These were gardeners who loved to get down and get dirty! They were great role models and set high standards for all of us, and for this we are grateful.
Not much has changed over the years… only the numbers and amounts. The first two years of the club membership numbered in the sixties; the past two years have found a rise of membership to 120. The yearly dues were $5.00; now they are $25.00. The plant sale that first year netted $273.40; the past two years it has netted over 10,000.00. Like a good healthy plant, we too have grown and blossomed. In 2009 (for 2008) we received, for the second time since 1981, the NH Arborists Association Community Beautification Award for our work with the town of Amherst. In these tough economic times, the Club especially sees the importance of working with our town to plant, care for and maintain, as well as beautify our local landscape. Many hands work to this end and civics projects are a vital part of our club.
We are one of the largest Garden Clubs in the state and with numbers comes activity. We hold an Annual Plant Sale each year, the Saturday before Mothers Day, and sell over 2000 hand dug and potted perennials from local gardens. With additional vendors and great prices it is a gardener’s delight! We have held three very successful garden tours. We have arranged for events with extraordinary speakers like Daniel Hinkley, Doug Tallamy, and Julia Moir Messervy. We have had for our members only, summer Garden Hops (member’s gardens), Holiday Home tours, Garden Tea Parties and an “end of season” luncheon. We donate subscriptions to gardening magazines to both the Amherst and Mont Vernon libraries.