Marlborough’s Colonial Garden Club takes indoor plant sale to new level


By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer

Marlborough’s Colonial Garden Club takes indoor plant sale to new level
Marlborough’s Colonial Garden Club keeps several city gardens looking good all year long.

MarlboroughWith cabin fever affecting so many due to the Covid-19 stay at home constraints, many more residents are feeling the urge to work in their yards and gardens. A trip to a nursery or greenhouse may be a possibility with appropriate masking but the Colonial Garden Club in Marlborough has found an even safer way to choose those new plants and seedlings.

“This is the first time we’re not selling at a facility, but it’s going pretty well so far,” announced Valerie Cowan, the current president of the organization. “We didn’t want to cancel the event and forego the revenue the annual spring plant sale generates as we use that money to support our city beautification efforts, scholarships and speakers for our meetings. This is our 25th annual indoor plant sale, but we won’t be able to have a celebration as we would have liked to do.”

Notices of the sale were sent out via email from the database the club has been gathering from past events to distribute their newsletter, the Grapevine. Anyone interested in purchasing plants can visit the website at to be able to access the plant list. The list is conveniently set up by the amount of light a plant needs and contains pictures of each variety. Orders will be taken through Thursday, May 14, with a pick-up date on Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Cowan’s home at 171 Stearns Road in Marlborough.  Payment is via cash or check (payable to Colonial Garden Club) in an envelope. Orders will be organized alphabetically and brought to the car, limiting the amount of anyone’s exposure. There will be no sales the day of pick-up.

To order, contact Cowan via her email ([email protected] ) or phone, 508-481-0008, and specify your pick-up date.

Cowan confessed that she has been spending five to six hours each day going through emails and messages to fill all the requests.

“All the orders have to come through me so that the inventory and stock is clear. We wouldn’t want someone selling the last of a plant at the same time another member is taking an order for it,” she said. “It is just easier to keep it clean this way, even if it is a lot of work for me.”

The Marlborough Colonial Garden Club was begun in 1959 and generally has an average of 50 members each year. They are a member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. Aside from the spring plant sale, members hold the Pear Tree Boutique the first Saturday in December to sell evergreen arrangements made by the members.

“Our November meeting is a workshop to show new members how to do the evergreen arrangements. The city provides a facility in exchange for our work throughout the year at nine garden sites in the city, including Whitcomb School, the Women’s Veterans Park on Rt. 85, the Assabet River Trail, the Circle Garden behind City Hall, and all the entrances to the city.

“The week before the boutique, members bring greens and work on making the arrangements. No prior experience is required as there is always someone around willing to help the new members,” Cowan explained. “We also hold craft workshops at the Senior Center and have booths at the Farmers’ Market and the fall Harvest Festival. Our meetings are the second Wednesday of each month, from September through June, and often feature guest speakers.”

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