GROTON -- On Monday, April 2, 1923, at the Broadmeadow Road home of Mrs. William P. Wharton, some of Groton's community oriented women gathered to talk about the town and what they could do to create a beautiful environment surrounding their homes, and in the historic center of their picture postcard town. All of those women attending had something in common -- their love of gardening and nature. Many of their well-known families were already contributors to the community in some fashion, whether through preservation of forest land, holding political office, running businesses, leading fox hunts, or operating large farms.
The lively discussion led those present to establish the first club in town dedicated to beautification -- the Groton Garden Club. The newly formed organization was comprised of the following members: Miss Georgiana Boutwell, Mrs. E. B. Branigan, Miss Amy Cogswell, Mrs. R. E. Danielson, Mrs. Courtland C. Earle, Miss Nettie Flanagan, Miss L. L. Hetzer, Miss Margaret Jardine, Mrs. Charles Keyes, Mrs. George Keyes, Mrs. John Lawrence, Mrs. Richard Lawrence, Mrs. William Norman, Miss Nellie Richards, Mrs. Stephen Sabine, Mrs. Winthrop L. Sheedy, Mrs. John Storer, Mrs. Charles E. Stratton, Mrs. Frank Torrey, Miss Y. G. Waters, Mrs. William P. Wharton and Mrs. Harry C. White.
Mrs. William P. Wharton was elected president, Mrs. Charles Keyes vice president and Mrs. Winthrop L. Sheedy as secretary-treasurer.
Those present agreed that the annual membership dues should be $2 and that the meetings should be held monthly from March to October, or more often at the discretion of the president.
It was also agreed that the meetings, whenever possible, would be held in the gardens of the members.
During this meeting, Miss Hetzer gave an interesting short talk on early seeds and flowers adapted to our soil and climate. And then Mrs. Branigan invited the club to her home for the next meeting, April 16, at three o'clock in the afternoon. The meeting was then adjourned.
And so it began. The Groton Garden Club became a reality, and now 90 years later, the club is thriving, continuing with the mission of its founders "To encourage and promote interest in and development of all aspects of gardening."
Signs of the present day Garden Club contributions are visible throughout the town; historically correct plantings at the Boutwell House, maintenance of the Prescott and the Hollis Street Commons, seasonal plantings of the watering troughs in Groton and West Groton, plantings at the Hanson Memorial Park, and the establishment of the Blue Star Memorial at Sawyer Common, just to name a few.
These projects and many others are made possible through the funds raised at the Club's annual plant sale, scheduled for May 11 this year. All club members participate, many generously reaching into their gardens for wonderful perennials to share with other gardeners in town.
The Garden Club welcomes anyone interested in gardening and membership is open to all. If you or someone you know would like information about joining the club, send a note to Groton Garden Club, PO Box 413, Groton MA 01450 and the membership chairman will contact you.