Festive Greens for the Holidays

by Marti Warren

The Amherst Garden Club has been giving back to the local community for many years, and it certainly does not let the winter weather stop its activities.

The club, which is one of the largest in New Hampshire, continues all year round its mission statement of providing education, resources and networking opportunities for members to promote the love of gardening, civic landscaping, and environmental responsibility.

This month the club members have been busy collecting greens and dried flowers for their annual gathering the second week of December, where they work on making wreaths, holiday swags and balls, and arrangements. The items are shared in their homes and at eleven civic gardens maintained by the club. They are also delivered to local nursing homes and to SHARE in Milford.

There is always more than enough greenery after the club’s gathering to allow for a fun afternoon class of children at the Souhegan Valley Boys & Girls Club. The children love working with the garden club members, learning how to arrange the greens into something special for their own homes. They leave that afternoon with their arrangements in hand feeling proud of their creations and with smiles on their faces.

The Amherst Garden Club, which is well known for its annual May Plant Sale, stays active throughout the winter. Informative speakers present at the monthly club meetings. The January program will be part of the House Plant Series focusing on violets. Master Gardener and club member Marie Nickerson will present on January 4th at 10:30 am at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Amherst on Rte. 101, it is open to the public.

In addition, once a month, the club sponsors an evening program called Side Shoots where various garden-related topics are presented. Lastly, the Perennial Plus group, which is for members only, has a full year of activities from trips and demonstrations to garden-related topics often presented by club members.