Westborough Garden Club spreads joy of gardening
By Zenya Molnar, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Flowers in bright shades color the town of Westborough everywhere from the children’s fairy garden inside the library to the veterans’ memorials, to outside of town buildings. Whether they are planting, watering or weeding, the Westborough Garden Club is hard at work maintaining the 21 plots around town. Its 35 members all share a love of gardening and an interest in learning about plants and flowers.
Beverly Linnane, a member of the Garden Club for more than 20 years and the chair of Community Planting, said, “I can’t imagine the town without flowers and plants.”
Along with gardening at home, Linnane maintains the gardens at the Gateway (the Club’s unofficial name for the area of town by the big hill near the railroad bridge on the corner of Willow Street and East Main Street) and at the sign in front of the Westborough Senior Center.
Besides assisting with town beautification, the Garden Club aims to educate the community on garden techniques through their workshops and lectures. Programs on a variety of topics from floral arrangements to cooking with herbs are held once a month. The club also sponsors a scholarship that supports one or two Westborough High School graduates each year who are pursuing a degree in a related field, such as botany and landscape design.
Lisa Carlson, president of the Garden Club for the past two years, decided to join the club when she moved to Westborough as a way to meet new people, learn about gardening, and become involved in helping beautify the town. Carlson said that a great aspect of the Garden Club is that “you don’t have to be an expert at gardening.” Some members of the club enjoy gardening through maintaining gardens around town instead of having their own.
Carlson tends to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial garden on Ruggles Street behind the high school athletic fields.
“I really get a lot out of maintaining that garden because I can tell that it makes a difference in the town,” Carlson said. She appreciates how people are grateful of the work that the Garden Club members put into the gardens and said that their work is meaningful to the memorial’s visitors.
Garden Club Corresponding Secretary Alyce Luippold, who has been a member for about 12 years, has been maintaining the Civil War monument site, located across the street from the Town Hall. Many of the flowers have come from her yard, and she said she “tries to give a splash of color” in the front, using flowers such as geraniums.
For Memorial Day, she plants red, white and blue flowers which is traditionally done at all the veterans gardens in Westborough. Most of the garden plots do not have a water source, so members must transport water to the sites.
Luippold was drawn to join the Garden Club when she saw their projects in town and wanted to be a part of the beautification.
“People think they have to know about gardening to join the Garden Club, but the best time to join is when you’re starting out,” Luippold said.
She said she enjoys the social aspect of the group, which consists of members with varying gardening backgrounds and abilities. Luippold described how gardening is a passion for gardeners.
“When you love something, you want to share that knowledge,” she said. “We always want to give advice and plants.”
The Garden Club hosts a plant sale every year in May and raises all their own money for the flowers they plant. According to Luippold and Linnane, the plant sale has a strong following where people come from all over and plants sell out each year. Each member of the Garden Club contributes 20 or more perennial plants to the annual sale. Luippold said that 20 plants may seem daunting at first, but they are easy to divide.
Carlson intends for the Garden Club to continue beautifying Westborough and to foster the enjoyment of gardening in the community.
“I think people enjoy looking at gardens around town, and when they realize how simple it is to make your yard look nice it can be very encouraging,” she said.
The Garden Club is looking for new members to join and welcomes anyone who is interested.
Even if you can do a little bit…it’s all good,” Linnane said. “We just want to keep it going.”
For more information on the Westborough Garden Club and their programs and to learn how to join, visit westboroughgardenclub.org or check out their page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Westborough-Garden-Club/410833582271466.
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