Southern Maine Garden Club celebrates a milestone

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A birthday cake helps celebrate garden club's 20th. (SMGC photo)

After many years of gifting her perennials to friends and neighbors, Ruth Fusillo of Lebanon, felt it was time to establish a garden club. In 1996, eight gardeners met informally at Ruth's home for the first meeting to discuss special interests, rules, dues, and the necessary evils of an organization. The club was to be opened to anyone interested in gardening, and we would meet at each other's home on an alternating basis. Not wanting to miss a beat that evening, Ruth captivated potential members by demonstrating the art of drying flowers.

New friendships developed as we visited each other's gardens, swapped plants, toured natural hidden rhododendron growths in Maine, discussed failures and successes and enticed other talented gardeners to speak and elaborate on their special techniques. Our membership grew including many from surrounding towns in Maine and New Hampshire. Several of our members are Master Gardeners and Garden Consultants. Our motto now is "Embrace the Heart of the Gardener"

After meeting in several locations in Lebanon, we now hold our meetings at the Springvale Library on the third Wednesday evening of the month. SMGC was accepted into the Garden Club Federation of Maine in 1998 and is now part of the Piscataqua District. We are involved in many beautifying projects throughout the area. Every June we have a plant sale with plants from our members' gardens for sale, this helps to fund some of our projects: plant and maintain flowers and shrubs at - Lebanon Transfer Station, Washington Square, Traffic Islands in Springvale, gardens at the Springvale Library, raised beds at #1 Pond in Sanford and maintain gardens at the Wormwood Center, Waban Industries in Sanford.

We celebrated our Twentieth Anniversary on Wednesday, October 19th, at the Springvale Library on Main St. in Springvale, with a cake and other refreshments. The public is invited to attend to sample our meetings to see if you would like to join us. We normally meet at the Springvale Library, at 443 Main Street in Springvale, on the third Wednesday of the month beginning at 6:30 PM. The November meeting will be on Wednesday, November 16th, at 6:30 PM and for this meeting only it will take place at the Trafton Center, 19 Elm St., Sanford, ME; and the topic will be on Canning Christmas Pickles and the presenter will be Cindy Simon, Healthy Lifestyle Coach. FMI please contact in ME - Paula Frodyma at 207-475-8142or in NH - Donna Claveau at 603-332-4860.

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