Happy 4th of July! The Amherst Garden Club was well represented with our standing float, consisting of 13 big flowers, a handmade parade banner, and the AGC’s new “anniversary edition” banner. Also adorning the “float” were 8 garden club members, holding a gardening tool and waving to passers-by.
Our efforts were well rewarded with the top award of “Best Overall” and the General Moses Nichols Perpetual Challenge Memorial Trophy (otherwise known as “the milk can”)! A huge thanks to all who participated to represent the club: Kathy Brundage, Becky Stoughton, Jeanne Johnson, Maureen Minner, Julie Hoag, Nancy Head, Diane Merrithew & Joan Poltack.
The flowers, which were made by Joan and Diane, incorporated in the center a gold ball ornament that was repurposed from the Civic Gardens 50th anniversary decorations this past winter. The petals were made from craft foam that was heated, shaped, cut, and glued, with the tips brushed with gold paint to relate to the 50th Anniversary. The banner, made by Diane, points out the anniversary and our years of beautifying Amherst. Participants all wore a specially made headpiece that reads “Gardening Superstar”, since the parade theme this year was America’s Superstars. The names of civic gardens were written on paper leaves that bordered the front of our display.
We’d also like to congratulate long-time ACG member and former president Anne Krantz for being named Amherst Citizen of the Year for 2021! The rain held off and we had a lot of fun. Happy 4th of July!
On Thursday, June 10, a dedication ceremony was held to mark the donation, by The Amherst Garden Club to the Town of Amherst, of an inscribed natural granite bench and a pink dogwood (Cornus florida) tree at the intersection of Mack Hill, Dodge, and Jones Roads. This small historical park, the site of the Town’s first Meeting House, is along a popular walking route in the historic district, not far from the Town Green. It is hoped by the club that the tree and the bench will be welcoming for pedestrians and will draw attention to the historically significant site. The gift was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary year of the club’s founding in 1971.
In her remarks welcoming those in attendance (which was limited due to COVID-19), AGC Anniversary Chair Nancy Head noted that the first official meeting of the club was in February of 1971. She recalled that Amherst at the time had about half of today’s population and was a friendly, cooperative town where people readily shared their time and talents, and that those characteristics had carried over to the club and lasted to this day, saying “The town spirit runs through the garden club. It is an organization that reflects the best characteristics of the town—the friendliness, sharing, and pulling together to make the town a better place for all.” As examples, Nancy cited the club’s volunteer and financial support for town projects such as a children’s camp at Peabody Mill Environmental Center, curbing at the Wigwam Museum, and scholarships for local students pursuing studies that relate to the club’s mission.
Following Nancy’s opening remarks, Becky Stoughton, Immediate Past President and Vice Chair of the Anniversary Committee, briefly recounted how the planning for the club’s anniversary began in earnest in the spring of 2017, with a brainstorming meeting and designating initial funding to mark the event, soon followed by a survey to obtain input from club members. She thanked Nancy for her work leading the committee saying, “I cannot overstate how much the club owes to Nancy for her dedication to the job, and my own and Kathy’s gratefulness to her for the many hours she has spent working with her committee to bring about a heart-warming and educational celebration in the midst of a pandemic.” Becky then introduced and thanked Christy Belvin, who chaired the subcommittee responsible for selecting and coordinating a legacy gift to the town to commemorate the anniversary in a suitable long-lasting way.
Christy mentioned that the subcommittee had evaluated numerous options for the gift, keeping in mind the goal of donating something “lasting” that was also “growing”, and thanked subcommittee members Anne Krantz, John Bement, and Edie Gambee along with Nancy and Kathy for all their efforts. She also thanked John Cochran of Amherst Garden Center, Adam Medlyn at Medlyn Monument, Jim and Ryan Sickler, Amherst Earth Products, Perry Day, and the Board of Selectmen. Christy then introduced current club President and Anniversary Committee Vice Chair Kathy Brundage.
Kathy observed that with the addition of the tree and bench, the area had the feel of a small “meetinghouse park”. She thanked Nancy, Becky, and Christy as well as the town itself for helping this to come about. She noted “As I stand here beside this newly-planted tree and granite bench, I am reminded of how the Amherst Garden Club had its beginnings in 1971 as a seedling of an idea that grew and took firm root in our community – and as it continued to grow and branch out, the club has been nurtured and supported by the community and come to blossom as we celebrate our golden anniversary.”
Kathy highlighted the close relationship between the club and the town, with the club financing and maintaining ten civic gardens, illuminating an annual Memory Tree, marching in the Fourth of July parade, providing scholarships, welcoming the community to attend its meetings and programs, and its annual Plant Sale. She went on to mention that, in return, the town supports the club in countless ways including allowing it to use the Stearns Road Fire Station to stage the Plant Sale. Kathy then formally presented the gift to Amherst Board of Selectmen Chairman Peter Lyon, wishing that it “bring joy, delight, and a shaded resting spot to all who pass by.” She offered the platform to Chairman Lyon, who formally accepted the gift on behalf of the Town, thanked the club for the gift, and noted the club’s important role in the town. He then read and presented to Kathy a Proclamation from the Board of Selectmen and the Town recognizing the anniversary and extending congratulations and gratitude to all past and present members of the club and best wishes for the club’s future success.
Beaver Brook in Hollis will continue its traditional Wednesday Wildflower walks leading you through the trails of Beaver Brook in search of each week’s blooming wildflowers. Join the knowledgeable Beaver Brook Association instructor, Rivka Schwartz, on these walks, meeting at various locations throughout the property. Walks take place at 10:00 AM each Wednesday starting 4/19 to June 21st. (Note: Rivka will also be presenting a program on harvesting and drying herbs for the Amherst Garden Club’s April Perennials+ meeting).
A special program featuring the Art in Bloom Road Show from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) will be sponsored by the Bedford Garden Club at its Monday March 20th meeting. The program will begin at 7:00 PM at the Bedford Town Hall, 70 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, NH. Art in Bloom is the MFA’s spring festival that pairs the Museum’s fine art with floral designs created by garden clubs and professional designers from across New England. Visitors and guests are welcome to attend the Art in Bloom Road Show.
On March 20th, a behind-the-scenes slide show will feature some of the history of Art in Bloom as well as some of last year’s floral interpretations inspired by artwork at MFA. Following the slide show, a floral arranger will demonstrate the process of creating a floral arrangement that reflects the theme of an artwork. This newly created floral piece will be raffled as a fundraiser for the Bedford Garden Club.
The Art in Bloom Road Show will be presented by Meade Fasciano and Beth Paisner. Slide show presenter Meade Fasciano has been affiliated with the MFA since 1998 as an Associate and Senior Associate. Meade has served on the Road Show committee over 9 plus years. She is a member of the Lexington Garden Club. Floral demonstrator Beth Paisner joined the MFA Associates in 2010 as a Flower Arranger. She contributes to doing Special Event and Patron Flowers at the Museum and belongs to two garden clubs, Noanett and Powisett.
A Bedford Garden Club monthly meeting will begin at 6:30pm. To learn more about the club, its programs and civic projects, please visit: www.bedfordgardenclubnh.org. Questions may be sent to: email@example.com.
The Nissitissit River is well known for its cold, clean waters and native trout, but that is not all it has to offer. From Spring till Fall wildflowers rise up along the river’s edge, providing food and shelter to wildlife, and delighting us with their captivating designs and colors. Explore the Nissitissit’s remarkable wildflowers with Pepperell, MA resident and nature photographer Ken Hartlage. All proceeds benefit Nashoba Conservation Trust. Exhibit runs through March 10, 2017. (Contributed by AGC and Pepperell Garden Club member Jeanne Nevard.)
NOFA-NH (Northeast Organic Farmers Association of NH) offers a spring bulk order program that offers savings on soil amendments, pest control, cover crop seed, livestock needs, tools & supplies, and more! This is an annual fund raiser for NOFA-NH and helps to finance its work throughout the year. Now you can place an order at these great price, as they have extended this offer to NH Garden Clubs.
NOFA-NH Bulk Order – Spring 201 Deadline March 1st
Pick-ups on March 18th in Andover, and March 19th in Weare & Rochester; Seed potato pick-up on April 15th in Weare. Custom orders are an option, so if you’re interested in products from our suppliers that are not listed in our order catalog, please ask us!
NOFA membership is not required to participate in the Bulk Order, but non-NOFA members add 10% to their order. We are also partnering with the Concord Food Coop, and Coop members receive the same discount as NOFA members on our Bulk Order.
This program will save you money on quality organic products and will support NOFA-NH at the same time.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH (NOFA-NH)
Office Hours: Mon/Tues/Wed 9am-12pm, Fri 10am-5pm
Scientist, activist and watchdog, Rachel Carson, sounded out the warning cry against toxic chemicals affecting the environment, especially pesticides that killed birds, insects and disrupted the eco-system. Her landmark book “Silent Spring” begat the early, global environmental movement. PBS will air a film on her life on “American Experience” on 1/25, 1/26, 1/27 and 1/28. Check your local listings.
Check out these beautiful live bouquets delivered to New Horizons Soup Kitchen in Manchester on January 13 by AGC members Sally Hooper and June Bridgewater. What a heartwarming club initiative!