Gardens are an expression of beauty both in our own lives and those in public places. After the long, cold New England winter, spring surrounds us with the lush green of rebirth. Who cannot drive down the street, without noticing a dogwood covered in white blossoms or the bright, purple bouquets of a rhododendron? This year’s Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs’ theme is “Start with a seed”. As gardeners we plant a variety of seeds. Some are in our gardens to attract and preserve endangered pollinators like the monarch butterfly and the honeybee, so important to our environment. Others are seeds of knowledge that we impart to one another from our experiences, classes and workshops. Conserving our resources and the health of the environment are other seeds to nurture for future generations. Our passions are the seeds that energize us to achieve.
Reaching out to the community is a vital part of our garden club. We are planting seeds of knowledge with the first graders at King School, who are learning that growing plants is vital to their lives and the earth. Seeds of sharing, brighten the lives of residents at Carmel Terrace, Hastings House, and the Heritage with senior classes and monthly flowers arrangements for the Women’s Shelter. We are cultivating the Seeds of Learning with the knowledge that members share with each other and the scholarships awarded to Framingham High School Seniors and sponsoring the Framingham third graders at the Garden in the Woods.
Currently our beautification committee is restoring the garden at the Saxonville Dam, which was buried last summer beneath the construction materials, while the new Central Street Bridge was built. For many years our members have maintained the grounds of the Historic Cushing Memorial Chapel on Dudley Road in Cushing Park. A tradition we will continue. A tiny oasis on Edgell Road is Nobscot Park with walking paths and a garden of native plants and flowering trees that attract pollinators. There, in the shade of trees, is a respite from the busy life we all lead. Green spaces allow us to replenish our energies and feed our souls. Maintaining these local gardens is an important part of our continued commitment to civic development.
Our floral designers continue to amaze and delight us with original designs at club floral competitions, the MFA’s Art in Bloom, WAM’s Flora in Winter, and the Boston Flower Show. After participating in design workshops, members share and teach new design techniques to our members. Merging the beauty of art and design stimulates creativity.
Expanding the first grade plant program to additional Framingham elementary schools is another seed to cultivate. Inviting the community to a free horticultural or gardening program as a part of our community outreach is one of my goals for the coming year. New ideas flourish and thrive with the energy we put forth. Our members are our strength. Working together, we make a difference in our community, our lives and our country. I am proud to be your new president and know that I will learn much from the seeds you share. Welcoming six new members this spring has contributed to our club’s growth. Bring a guest to a meeting and introduce friends to our rich programs that will help our club continue to grow. My garden nurtures me, daily. What is a garden without friends to share its beauty?