Over one hundred years of gardening in Springfield

Students helping to build the plaza bed. Photo provided by the Springfield Garden Club.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – There has been a club for home gardeners in Springfield for over 100 years! Mrs. Carroll Drury, a former president, had been very helpful in her recollections of Garden Club throughout history. The Springfield Gardeners was responsible for many civic improvements, including the collection of garbage and rubbish and the annual spraying of trees within the village limits. She recalls the group organizing around the year 1915.

During the early 1920s, Miss Miriam Marsh, who owned the estate near the high school, interested the club in having flower shows. These shows were quite spectacular for a town of this size; many lasted two or three days.

In 1946, the club officially changed its name to Springfield Garden Club and has held regular meetings ever since. It played a very active role in the “Keep Vermont Green” program, which was responsible for legislation restricting the size of billboards.

The current plaza bed. Photo provided by the Springfield Garden Club.

The club helped decorate the hospital at Christmastime and provided many floral arrangements during the summer months. In the later 50s, the club opened its membership to both men and women. Landscaping the library grounds was a Garden Club project after renovations there were completed in 1966. The year 1968 found club members assisting with plantings and beds at the Eureka Schoolhouse historic site. The sidewalk planters were built in 1976 and planted for the downtown; in 1977, the club began awarding scholarships to a graduating high school senior with plans to pursue further education in the fields of horticulture, forestry or environmental studies.

The early 90s saw the first Festival of Trees fundraiser at the Miller Art Center. It was moved to its present location at the Great Hall in Springfield. On May 30, 1990, the large cinderblock planter on the traffic island near the plaza was completed with the help of donations from all concerned with town beautification.

Today, the club continues to give back to the community through ongoing projects. The club also makes monthly flower arrangements for Meals on Wheels, plants a patio garden for the Adult Day Care Clients, maintains a Junior Gardening program, and awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors.

The Garden Club is active today and still going strong. As Mrs. Carol Drury would say…no tricks, just hard work and lots of manure! For more information, go to www.SpringfieldGardenClub.org.

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