Local garden clubs doing their best to keep community blooming during pandemic


By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer

Members of the Westborough Garden Club at a summer event

Region – Several local garden clubs have been getting creative in what they have been able to execute and what is scheduled in the upcoming months. Some are engaged in virtual programming, while others are simply looking towards 2021 to begin.

The Westborough Garden Club has certainly been busy. They awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Caroline McDermott at the end of May. She is going into nursing at Fairfield University and is interested in herbal therapy. The event was outside and it was the first time that members of the club had seen one another in months.

“We made a sign and had flowers and surprised her. We all had our masks on but it was so much fun for us. The look on her face when her mom brought her outside was priceless,” said Alyce Luippold, who has been a Westborough Garden Club member for 20 years.

The Westborough Garden Club also participated in a 13th birthday parade for Ryan Summers, a resident born with a rare and debilitating skin condition. The club named him and his sister, Emmy, honorary Garden Club members.

“For five weeks in July, we opened our gardens to Westborough Garden Club members and limited each one to 10 people at a time. It was really fun to see everyone and the beautiful displays people had. It was a huge success,” said Luippold.

For fall, the club is starting to work on their bigger gardens such as the Gateway Garden. Some of the things this club is looking to do are outside beautification projects at the 15 gardens they maintain throughout the town. They also plan to come up with a way to reach out to residents in need.

“Obviously our programming looks very different from what we would normally do like our Annual Plant Sale which is so well received and fun. We are also asking people to save their seeds so we can do a Seed Swap in March. In December we have also scheduled a Zoom with Andrea Little, Floral Designer,” said Luippold.

Northborough’s Garden Club is busy planning for 2021.

“We are also supplying a slideshow for Applefest,” said member Kathleen Devericks.

The Colonial Garden Club of Marlborough’s Annual Plant Sale was changed to a virtual plant sale. Customers were able to pick up their plants curbside after ordering electronically.

“It was a great spirit lifter for club members and the community – new life, new beginnings amidst all of the gloom of the pandemic,” said member Patricia Mancini.

Their annual Pear Tree Boutique, an event that has been ongoing for almost 30 years, will be held virtually through the month of December. Items will include beautiful fresh and faux greenery arrangements, swags, crafts, and autumnal and holiday themed items.

“This event will provide the same outstanding quality and variety as years past but span the two major holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.” said Mancini

A Pear Tree Boutique item