Branford Garden Club


The Branford Garden Club has been recognized on the national, regional and state levels.


The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., bestowed upon the Branford Garden Club the following honors

Malaine Trecoske received the Ellen Carder Memorial Award for horticulture.  Malaine was recognized for her role as a founding member of the 2009 Branford Community Gardens and as the current coordinator of the Branford Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen produce garden.  The Program described Malaine as “a tireless educatior, she gives talks, demonstrations, shares her knowledge of horticulture with fifth and sixth graders at the Walsh Intermediate School, where she also helps with the raised beds.”

Marybeth Ciarlelli & Linda Holmes

Marybeth Ciarlelli & Linda Holmes

The Historic, Memorial, and Public Gardens Committee awarded the Branford Garden Club Evening Division a silver tray (Extra Large Club) for its redesign and refurbishment of the Veteran’s Memorial Flagpole Garden on the Town Green.  The redesign and replanting were completed for the town’s annual Memorial Day Celebration.  The replanting, under the direction of Marybeth Ciarlelli and Linda Holmes, included red Knockout roses surrounded by white Bobo hydrangeas and blue Juniper shrubs, in keeping with the red, white and blue theme adorning the Flagpole Garden. 

The Environmental Concerns and Conservation Committee recognized the Branford Garden Club for its “Protect our Pollinators” conservation project under the direction of Doreen Larson-Oboyski, Chair of the Conservation Committee.This project recognized club members for providing educational programs and information to the public focusing on the importance of organic gardening, protection from poisons, participation in annual bird and frog counts, and preparing bird houses, feeders and bird baths.The award noted that “Participation helps environmental scientists learn about the problems of the birds and frogs which reflect the health of our planet.”

The Branford Garden Club received the Award of Honor with an engraved cup for the years 2014-2016.  The Club also received a Club-Certificate of Achievement Award for maintaining an active and broad horticulture program.  The award recognized activities such as in-house horticulture shows, talks to civic groups and horticulture table top displays.


Hedy Bastian

Hedy Bastian

Paula Inglese and Ann Hacker received “Certificates of Individual Achievement” awarded by the Civic Development Committee, Civic Creativity Award, which recognized clubs for an “unusual or outstanding and creative project in the area of civic responsibility.”

 Paula was recognized for her excellence and creativity in staging at the Breath of Spring Flower Show held in Hartford in February.

 Ann was recognized for designing and producing photographed note cards for sale in support of the Club’s fundraising activities, and for her leadership in planting multitudes of daffodil bulbs in Branford’s public spaces.

 Also, Certificates of Individual Achievement award were presented to Hedy Bastian and Patty Collins for their mini-monarch habitats located on the grounds of several schools around town.

 Finally, the Branford Garden Club received the Award of Honor-Extra Large Club and the Yearbook Award of Excellence for Class VI, 100 members and over, for its 2018 Yearbook.   

From L to R: Ann Hacker, Hedy Bastian , Malaine Trecoske, Marybeth Ciarlelli, Linda Holmes, Paula Inglese

From L to R: Ann Hacker, Hedy Bastian , Malaine Trecoske, Marybeth Ciarlelli, Linda Holmes, Paula Inglese


Standard Flower Show Achievement Award: 5-D Standard Flower Show – Certificate of Commendation for “The Farmer’s Market”


  • President’s Project Golden Days – Certificate of Commendation and Appreciation



Presented at the Club’s 2018 Annual Meeting to Eunice Lasala & Gisella Weissbach-Licht.

 Eunice was recognized for her continuous and clairvoyant leadership of the Club to ensure that it stays one step ahead of the gardening club “curve”. Gisella was recognized for her skill and expertise in producing the monthly editions of the Club’s newsletter, Scattered Seeds, and for managing the Club’s website.

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HALL OF FAME Inductee: Malaine Trecoske

 The Branford Board of Education Hall of Fame was established in 1998 “to recognize and honor Branford individuals who have had a significant impact on education in Branford and beyond.”

 Malaine was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.  She was recognized as a great horticulturist, environmentalist, and organic gardener, who shares her knowledge with club members and beyond.  Malaine is a founding member of the Branford Community Gardens and serves as the current coordinator of the Branford Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen produce garden.  Congratulations Malaine!  We proudly recognize you as a member of the Branford Garden Club!


In the spring of 2018, we began our search for Branford gardens that best fit within the guidelines of “outstanding horticultural and/or landscaping design” with the help of Nancy Childs & Pat Conselmo.  Our search led us to several outstanding gardens. The winners are:

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Residential: ANITA OTTEN-RAMM, Pine Orchard.

When you drive up to Anita’s home, you just fall in love with the beautiful flowering trees and landscaping. The yard is so inviting with cobblestone paths through all of the plantings. Anita cares for the garden herself.





Roberta has a lovely cottage garden, designed, grown and cultivated herself.  Her garden has old-fashioned roses, sunflowers, and black-eyed Susans as well as a beautiful collection of succulents that grow well in her beach-side garden. 


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After the town, Van Wilgen’s Garden Center and the Callahan family planned a memorial for Ben Callahan, Janet Dahl, with the permission of the family, took it upon herself to help maintain and seasonally decorate the memorial.


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Pat has a small garden that perfectly fits in front of her home.  A lovely white fence wraps around the garden of roses and hydrangeas.  Sculptures from Mexico and the Southwest Desert are embedded in the plantings.  Pat enjoys gardening, which she does herself.




Our baskets on the Green are beautiful and so appreciated by the businesses and members of the community.  It takes a lot to make that happen.  We are grateful to Van Wilgen’s Garden Center for growing to order Sofie’s Cascade geraniums and to Jamie Cosgrove, First Selectman, members of Sarah, Inc., and the Public Works Department, for their help with watering during the hottest months.  And to all who provided an abundance of evergreens to make the Christmas baskets beautifully full of seasonal cheer.  Thank you to all!

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Marybeth Ciarlelli, Chair of the Veterans Memorial Garden on the Green, and her husband Dave, with staff from Van Wilgens Garden Center, including Bill Van Wilgen, renovated the garden, planting hydrangeas and roses.  Thank you!


The Evening Committee gives a most sincere thank you to the Branford Police Department for use of their conference room at no charge.

 Sincere appreciation goes to Trinity Church for use of their community space for meetings and design workshops at no charge.   

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First Selectman, James B. Cosgrove, honored the Branford Garden Club by proclaiming December 7, 2018, as Branford Garden Club Day in the Town of Branford. 

 The Proclamation reads (not verbatim):

v  Whereas, the Branford Garden Club (BGC) is celebrating its 90th Anniversary; and,

v  Whereas, the BGC is an award-winning civic organization engaged in a wide variety of community activities; and,

v  Whereas the members of the BGC dedicate their time, talents, and resources to beautify our neighborhoods and enhance our quality of life; and,

v  Whereas the BGC beautifies our town with countless plantings such as the Lillian Grew Garden, The Mae McCabe Daylily Garden, Project Daffodil, seasonal baskets along Main Street, Rosenthal Gardens, the Veterans Memorial Garden, and so many others; and,

v  Whereas the BGC is to be commended for its dedication and outstanding service to our community for the past 90 years, and

v  Now, therefore, in recognition of the above Organization’s efforts for the Citizens of the Town of Branford, I, James B. Cosgrove, First Selectman of the Town of Branford, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2018, as the Branford Garden Club Day in the Town of Branford.