Tag Archives: Westport Garden Club

Ginormous Plant Sale Set For Friday

How does the Wakeman Town Farm’s garden grow?

With a ton of help from the Westport Garden Club.

WTF has received a $5,000 gift from the WGC — the club’s largest single donation in its 93-year history. Funds will help create perennial gardens, at the newly renovated and enhanced property.

Front: Treaurer Katie Donovan presents the Westport Garden Club’s check to Wakeman Town Farm co-chair Liz Milwe. Top row (from left): Ellen Greenberg, WCG president; Christy Colasurdo, WTF co-chair; Carrie Aitkenhead, farm steward, Kathy Oberman Tracy, plant sale chair.

The grant was made possible by the Garden Club’s annual plant sale. This year’s event — one of Westport’s favorite springtime rituals — takes place on Friday (May 12, Saugatuck Congregational Church, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

After the sale, the club plans to donate any remaining plants to the Town Farm. Members will also help plant and tend the new gardens.

The Garden Club is one of those organizations whose work Westporters constantly admire, even if we don’t know it’s theirs.

Among many other activities, they plant, weed, prune and mulch sites like the Compo Beach entry and marina; Adams Academy; the Earthplace entrance; the Library’s winter garden near Jesup Green; various cemeteries, and the Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden at the Cross Highway/Weston Road intersection.

An astonishing array of plants are available on Friday. Among the most popular: “perkies.” These perennials come from local gardens, and thrive in our quirky Connecticut climate.

The Westport Garden Club plant sale is on, rain or shine. Exactly what you’d expect from this intrepid group, who do so much to “grow” our town.

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #90

The Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden is hidden in plain sight: on the well-traveled corner of Cross Highway and Weston Road.

Fred Cantor, Susan Schmidt, Bobbie Herman, Barbara Sherburne and Nancy Hunter Wilson all knew that the plaque featured in last week’s photo challenge can be found there.

Then Ellen Greenberg, Louise Ward Demakis, Jerry MacDaid, Morley Boyd and Wendy Crowther all added great information about the pioneering journalist who in 1924 founded the Westport Garden Club. Click here for the photo, and some intriguing history about Nevada. (Though we still don’t know where she got that unique first name.)

This week’s photo has nothing to do with gardening. If you think you know where in Westport you could find this, click “Comments” below.

oh-my-06880-september-18-2016

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #73

Last week’s 2-fer — photos of a boulder surrounded by overgrown brush, and a plaque saying the planting was made possible by the Westport Garden Club — was as tough as the tangled weeds in Bob Weingarten’s shot.

Only 2 “06880” readers — Diane Bosch and Elaine Marino — knew it was hidden in plain site: at the Merritt Parkway Exit 42 commuter parking lot.

The Westport Garden Club didn’t know. But they responded quickly, noting that although they help with plantings, they are not responsible for (non)-maintenance like this. (To see the photos and all guesses, click here.)

This week’s challenge comes courtesy of Joyce Joiner. If you think you know where you’ve seen this colorfully intriguing scene, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Joyce Joiner)

(Photo/Joyce Joiner)

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Today marked the 5,272nd consecutive rainy/cloudy/blah spring day this month.

But that did not deter the crowds thronging the Westport Garden Club‘s annual plant sale, at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

After all, as every gardener knows: This is perfect planting weather!

Garden Club’s Annual, Perennial Event Set For Friday

Forget the wet weather.

Actually, celebrate it: You don’t have to worry about watering your plants.

Don’t have any to water? You’re in luck!

The Westport Garden Club‘s annual plant sale rolls onto the Saugatuck Congregational Church big, green lawn this Friday (May 6, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.). Profits from the sale fund scholarships, and help the club maintain many town gardens and historic cemeteries.

Despite the rain (and a few lingering frosts), there’s plenty of stuff for sale.

Last week, Westport Garden Club members divided existing plants (hardy, native perennials), and created new ones.

Last week, Westport Garden Club members divided existing plants (hardy, native perennials), and created new ones.

The wide array features native varieties that thrive in our (varied) Connecticut climate. Some species — like Baptista, wild geraniums, Rudbeckia, Amsonia and Seaside Goldenrod — are not available in commercial outlets.

Those are the same plants the club will use to refurbish Grace Salmon Park on Imperial Avenue. They’ve tended it since the 1970s.

Many of Friday’s perennials come from members’ gardens. Ever since 1994, when then-plant sale chair Pam Weil requested 20 “perky plants” from each member, those donated varieties are called “perkies.”

Perkies remain the mainstay of the sale. In-the-know gardeners stand in line on sale day to get the best ones.

On Friday — like every year — they’ll be there early.

This year, with umbrellas.

Westport Helps Waltersville’s Garden Grow

Westport has a long history with Waltersville School. For years, Staples High School world language students have volunteered at the K-8 facility across the street from the former Father Panik Village in Bridgeport.

Now another group has stepped up. Last spring, the school wanted to transform a barren courtyard into something more inviting. They asked the Westport Garden Club to help.

The low-key — but very committed — 90-year-old organization said “of course!” The result: 4 beautiful perennial gardens.

The Westport Garden Club was joined by Pivot Ministries, a Waltersville neighbor. Labor, design and plants were all donated.

Westporters and Bridgeporters work together at the Waltersville School.

Westporters and Bridgeporters work together at the Waltersville School.

Yesterday’s ribbon-cutting yesterday was a festive affair. School staff, Garden Club members and Pivot Ministries helpers joined together to celebrate.

The opening of Waltersville School this year will be very joyful indeed.

How Our Gardens Grow

You can see the Westport Garden Club‘s work all over town.

In the early 1970s, Ginny Sherwood asked fellow members to reclaim a 3-acre landfill on Imperial Avenue. Her vision of a refuge along the Saugatuck River came true. Today, Westporters love the hidden-in-plain-sight beauty of Grace Salmon Park.

It’s a delightful spot for a walk, picnic or simply a few moments of peace and quiet.

Over the years though, the land has flooded. Vegetation has been lost. It needs improvement.

The Garden Club will once again help. Members are recommending which plants to save, and which native species to add. They’ll provide volunteers to do the labor, and keep Grace Salmon Park looking great.

To accomplish this — and so much more — the club needs funds. They raise money the best way they know how. This year’s annual plant sale is set for Friday, May 8 (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Among the Westport Garden Club's many activities: keeping the Compo Beach entrance looking gorgeous. Members were hard at work recently. (Photo/Ann Pawlick)

Among the Westport Garden Club’s many activities: keeping the Compo Beach entrance looking gorgeous. Members hard at work recently (from left): Roseanne Mihalick, Jane Eyes, Jenny Robson, Debbie Tiede, Lori Meinke, Sue McCabe. (Photo/Ann Pawlick)

The Garden Club is one of those organizations whose work Westporters constantly admire, even if we don’t know it’s theirs. They’re responsible for — among many other things — planting, weeding, pruning and mulching sites like the Compo Beach entry and marina; Adams Academy; the Earthplace entrance; the Library’s winter garden near Jesup Green; various cemeteries, and the Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden at the Cross Highway/Weston Road intersection.

We also owe the club thanks for what we don’t see.

In the 1930s — just a few years after its founding — the Westport Garden Club persuaded the town to ban billboards on all local roads.

The prohibition still stands.

So on Friday, buy a plant to support the Westport Garden Club. For nearly 100 years they’ve made our hometown look beautiful — just like home.

Westport Garden Club logo

 

Oh My 06880 – Photo Challenge #5

Last week’s Photo Challenge was quite challenging: graffiti on the inside of the Saugatuck River retaining wall by the library — visible only at high tide. Robert Mitchell was the 1st “06880” reader to identify it correctly.

Today — as snow blankets the ground, with more to come — we turn our thoughts to the Westport Garden Club. For 90 years, they’ve done good deeds all around town. But where can you find this sign hangs? Click “Comments” — and add any Garden Club stories, too!

Oh My 06880 - February 1 2015

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

 

 

A Time To Plant, A Time To Buy Plants…

The Westport Garden Club is 90 years young this year.

They’ve come a long way since 1924. Back in the day, members sent their gardeners to do the heavy lifting. In 2014, they do it all themselves.

Westport Garden Club logoAnd the Westport Garden Club does plenty. Last year, for example, they planted hundreds of bulbs at Adams Academy on North Morningside. They also did a complete update of the Nevada Hitchcock Garden, at the well-traveled corner of Cross Highway and Weston Road.

They’re constantly at work, maintaining gardens at cemeteries, the Earthplace entrance, and many other spots. Their work is invisible — until it’s not done.

You know their work at Compo Beach, even if you don’t realize the Garden Club does it. Their handsome “Beach Buds” garden greets everyone at the entrance, while the Charles Lucas Garden at the marina honors an avid gardener who died in a boating accident. Lucas was not a Garden Club member — though he was often 1st in line at the annual plant sale.

Russ Miller, though, does belong.

That’s right: the Westport Garden Club welcomes men. In fact, John Morris joined in the group’s earliest year. (He was a librarian. It is believed he organized books on flowers. He was recruited for his library skills, not his interest in gardens.)

A marker, in a garden the club maintains.

A marker, in a garden the club maintains.

But Miller is gung ho. A Westporter for 10 years, he’s spent the past quarter century in landscaping. He wanted to get involved in community service, and knew the club maintains gardens all over town. He’s beginning his 2nd term on the board.

These days, he and other members are busy preparing for the annual plant sale this Friday (May 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Jesup Green). It’s right before Mother’s Day, guys. Construction at the usual site — Saugatuck Congregational Church — is the reason for the new location. (Interestingly, just a few yards from Jesup Green is the Westport Library’s winter garden, which the club maintains.)

Hundreds of perennials will be on sale, plus garden-related items, homemade baked goods, antiques and collectibles. Club members are on hand to give horticultural advice.

Proceeds help maintain local parks and gardens; Staples Tuition Grants; the Sound Waters program for elementary school children; 4 Colonial-era cemeteries, and speakers for meetings.

This winter, some of us thought spring would never come. For 90 years, the Westport Garden Club has known it always will.

Westport Garden Club members enjoy the annual plant sale.

Westport Garden Club members enjoy the annual plant sale.