Branford Garden Club
What We Do
Baskets on the Green
In 2003 European-style baskets were installed on the lamp posts along both sides of a half mile stretch on Main Street in downtown Branford. This was a gift from the Garden Club to the town on the occasion of the Garden Club's 785th Anniversary. Since that time, the Garden Club has planted and maintained the 32 baskets with beautiful flowers during the spring and summer months. In the fall the flowers are replaced with seasonal greens and large red velvet ribbons. Thanks to the consistent attention of our members, the baskets are much admired and appreciated by our community.
Branford Festival on the Green
The Club promotes both civic and club pride by renting a booth each year at this 3-day town-wide Branford Festival. Our posters, exhibits and displays demonstrate how we help our community. Conservation efforts are highlighted along with hands-on planting activities for young children.
The Branford Green Committee
The Branford Green Committee was initiated and developed by the Civic Development Committee. It was established under town ordinance in 2001 and reports to the First Selectman. The function of the Committee is to oversee the preservation and maintenance of the Branford Green which dates back to 1699. A member of the Garden Club serves on this committee, acting as a liaison and communicating Garden Club input and concerns.
The main focus of the Civic Development Committee is to locate new public sites for landscapes projects and to upgrade areas already established by the Garden Club. Examples of these projects include: the Cenotaph restoration, the perennial garden at the corner of Main and Montowese Streets, landscaping at the Town Hall and a rain garden planted on Montowese and Main in 2012. A Memorial Fund for deceased Garden Club members was created in 1988 and is under the Civic Development Committee. Over the years, six memorial gardens have been planted at the request of family members.
The Branford Garden Club is responsible for upkeep of the Veteran's Memorial Garden on the Town Green (by the flagpole), the Alta Newton Memorial Herb Garden (at Harrison House), and the Mae McCabe Memorial Daylily Garden (near the Academy on the lower Green). These gardens are checked bi-weekly throughout the growing season. We also check the indoor planter at the Community Center and replace plants when needed. A Spring Planting Day is held the middle of May and Fall Cleanup of all gardens is held at the beginning of November. Our goal is to keep these gardens thriving.
Residential and commercial gardens in Branford are evaluated by the Community Awards Committee. Membership will be asked for input for suggested gardens. Recognized gardens are honored at the February meeting. They will are presented with a framed Certificate of Appreciation for Out standing Gardens, landscaping or other themes set by the Club. Pictures of their gardens are on display at The Blackstone Library.
The mission of the Conservation Committee is to stimulate and encourage club members to protect and conserve our natural resources. To that end, the Committee develops and implements projects designed to expand members' interest on issues pertaining to a greener environment. Recycling, ways to reduce waste and pollution, appreciation of wildlife, and preservation of natural habitats, are the Conservation Committee's special goals.
The "Project Daffodil" Committee continues its spring beautification efforts by purchasing bulbs and planting them throughout our town during the fall. Our committee members also tour the town looking for new plots to plant the following fall. This is a task that becomes harder each year!
Members provide a monthly floral arrangement for our luncheons and a monthly arrangement for the niche at the Community House. At the beginning of the holiday season, in addition to decorating the Blackstone Library, wreaths are designed, made and delivered to the Blackstone Library, Willoughby Wallace Library and the Community House. All greens are donated by the members. A floral design workshop is held at least once a year.
The purpose of Garden Therapy is to use plants and horticultural activities to enhance the physical, mental, social and spiritual health to members of the general community and the elderly. In order to accomplish this goal we design and execute horticultural activities for senior day care residents at the Orchard House in Branford. We provide, on a weekly basis, flower centerpieces for the dining room tables at the Community Dining Room. These help to create a cheery atmosphere for diners. Twice a year, in May and October, baskets of flowers are provided by members of the Garden Club to distribute to the senior day care centers, rehabilitation centers, or to home bound individuals. These activities, hopefully, bring the joy of gardening to many people in the community.
The purpose of the Horticulture Committee is to educate and promote good gardening practices and to introduce our membership to new and old varieties of plants, shrubs and trees. This is carried out through our monthly horticulture displays, educational sheets and plant of the month in Scattered Seeds, our on-line newsletter. All members are encouraged to bring horticultural specimens to each monthly meeting.
Note Cards and Postcards
Photographs of unusual, interesting and picturesque town scenes are taken by members and are developed into note cards with envelopes. The note cards are sold to our members and the general public. They are currently available for purchase at The Village Express in Lockworks Square. They are also available at all club meetings and events.
The mission of the Youth Activities Committee is to work with children and teachers in educating and promoting awareness and appreciation of plants, conservation and wildlife. We help with rudimentary flower arranging at the pre-school level and we work with elementary/middle school classes in planting bulbs and gardens and organizing various outdoor activities. Most recently, we have encouraged and facilitated the Branford schools' participation in "Scarecrows on the Green."