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    A busy spring has passed and an even busier summer awaits us! We live in Maine, Vacationland, and we garden. What more is there to say?
    Besides keeping up with our own flower and vegetable gardens, many of us will be visiting gardens. The GCFM open gardens continue this summer. Some from southern Maine who participated last summer may wish to fill a car and drive to Pittsfield, Augusta or Verona Island. Those who live in the eastern part of the state now have a chance to see what “Show and Grow” is all about. 
    In addition, Camden Garden Club is keeping with its long tradition of a tour. Boothbay and Mt. Desert Garden Clubs also have tours this summer. These are club fundraisers that raise the spirits and give creative ideas to all who attend. Articles below give more details.
    With this issue we welcome Carmen Weatherbie as our new editor. Send her any news from your clubs that will inspire other clubs. We are all about “appropriating” good ideas in our federation!
    The debut of our new website is now! The time was short to prepare it. We want it to be an excellent source for current and prospective members. The beginnings will be up on or about July 1 when the old site is no longer able to run because of a software issue. 
    As I write this, I am back from our wonderful convention hosted by the Stroudwater district and ably chaired by second vice president Karen Rea. The garden tour in Gorham was glorious, the keynote speaker was entertaining and informative, the workshop demonstration was interesting, and the Art in Bloom left us in awe of the talent in our federation. Thank you to everyone who worked to make this a success, and to all of you from around the state who came and participated. We were worried about attendance because of the pandemic but infection numbers receded at the right time and there have been no reports of infections because of our gathering. 
    At convention, our awards chairman Judy Stallworth was well organized and efficiently recognized clubs, including her own Bath Garden Club with a national award (see article below). If anyone would like the photo Ted Anderson (the husband of Stroudwater district director Donna Anderson who kindly served as photographer) took of your club representative during the awards ceremony, please contact me. Club of Distinction is within every club’s ability to receive recognition. Think about applying next year. Photo of me and Susan Xirinachs as Brewer Garden and Bird Club was recognized.  (Photo by Ted  Anderson.)
    In a wonderful spirit of goodwill among gardeners, I’d like to report that the volunteers selling irises for the Maine Iris Society at convention, most of whom are also garden club members, decided to donate their entire proceeds to GCFM. 
    My column is a bit shorter this month as my own garden calls me. You may have a bit less time to read this! If you do have any free time and have not read the GCFM horticulture newsletter, ask your president about it. You also will be getting information about the open gardens from your president or another club representative. 
    Enjoy the summer, everyone, and I hope to see you in a garden!    Harriet



    Our new website will be online on or about July 1.  It is not completely finished but will give us what we need for the summer. We hope you are as pleased with its “look” as webmaster Barb Dalton and I are! Much of the content is information grabbed from the old site reconfigured into the new design. It is still a work in progress. We will be adding more photos and pages over time. We are open to changes. When you have events to add or photos that might make a great addition to the site, please contact webmaster Barb Dalton
    A new site became necessary when the software running our old site expires on June 30. The board voted to contract with Links Web Design in Bangor in April. We have been scrambling ever since. This is a huge project and we want to get it right. The purpose of the site is to provide information members need but also to be a marketing tool for new members. We hope the up-to-date design will create interest among gardeners and that many will join one of our clubs.
    If you encounter any problems along the way as you use the site, please let Barb or me know. We want to cut any glitches off at the pass!
    Visit the website at
(Submitted by Harriet Robinson, GCFM President)

Laura Boyett's Augusta garden  -  “Making Good Material Choices in the Garden"  
    Join other GCFM members as we visit more gardens together this summer. Like last year, a member garden will be the setting for a lecture on a gardening topic and a demonstration on floral design.  You may attend simply to enjoy the garden or you may want to learn at one or both of the lectures.  Come for a quick look or bring a lawn chair and a picnic and prepare to spend the day with other GCFM members from around the state.  A $10 donation per person at each garden will fund the program. There will be no pre-registration to keep this simple, informative and fun. 
     The arrangement session at each garden will be led by flower show judges Nancy Atwell and Carol Smith. They will create country style arrangements in recycled jars using plants cut from gardens or found growing wild. Gardeners will get tips on how to harvest flowers without detracting from their garden’s design and arrangers will get ideas on plants to use without having to buy them. 
     The gardening topics were chosen by the hosting districts and relate to the gardens we will visit. The Pittsfield garden is loaded with sculptures made by the owner. The landscaper who assists the Augusta gardener (who happens to have a full-time job and wants a haven to unwind after long days at work) will address us on “Making Good Material Choices in the Garden."  On Verona Island we will learn about a topic that faces many members, “Downsizing and Modifying Our Gardens as We Age”, from a garden club member who is also a garden writer and lecturer. 
     This may also be a chance to tour parts of Maine some of us may not have visited before. Augusta is our state capital and you can drive by the State House or visit Capital Park. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge (  leads us to Verona Island. In Pittsfield an added attraction is the library, a Beaux Art building (1903-4) with a mural painted inside the dome by Tim Sample in 1983. 
                        Show and Grow, 2022 GCFM Open Garden Schedule
$10 donation payable at the gardens
Gardens open 10 AM—3 PM. 
Lectures/Demonstrations at 11 AM and 1 PM. 
Please feel free to bring a lawn chair and a picnic lunch.
Use the addresses for the gardens to find them on a map or with GPS. 
Date Location Garden owner
Thursday July 14 (rain date July 15) 557 Hartland Avenue 
Stan and Deb Short
Thursday, August 4 101 Hemlock Terrace
Laura Boyett
Saturday, Sept 10 275 Eastside Drive 
Verona Island
Lynette Gaslin
(Submitted by Harriet Robinson, GCFM President)

    One hundred and forty GCFM members and guests were treated to an amazing Convention on June 15th and 16th.  It was wonderful to be together again after a hiatus of two years because of COVID.  The weather was perfect for the tour of the Gorham Garden Club on Wednesday. In the gardens we saw a riot of colors and types of flowers, from the Siberian irises at the Cole Farm (photo of Joseph Tychonievich and Dean Cole) , to the lush peonies and formal gardens at Treworgy, to full sun gardens and shade gardens, and to a garden done almost entirely using raised beds. (Did you notice that the edges were beveled so that you can easily kneel while working in the beds?)  The Gorham Middle School Garden was amazing – large and lush, focusing on vegetables to feed the community.
    Following the garden tour Emily Springer of The Infusion Herb Company conducted a wonderful workshop on making oils and tinctures with calendula blooms. Pictured are members talking to Emily at Workshop.  Calendula is good for digestive issues, and when used in a salve is good for treating skin issues and healing wounds.  It can also be added to soups and stews as it is high in Vitamins A, B, D and E.
    After dinner, our keynote speaker Joseph Tychonievich inspired us with his talk on ways to use raised beds and rock gardening to minimize the need to kneel. He was a wonderful speaker and shared with us photos of unusual plants to try and new techniques to use.
    Art-in-Bloom on Thursday was a sight to  behold, with truly inspiring floral designs interpreting five pieces of art.   All of the artwork and all of the floral designs were done  
by GCFM members. “First Dahlias” is a photograph by Anne Ritchie, Harpswell Garden Club.  Anne was inspired by her father who was a brilliant gardener.  When she first saw these beauties, they would remain forever in her gardens. Inspired by “First Dahlias” Deborah Gray, Longfellow Garden Club,  focused on the shape of the florets and the subtle variation in color using calla lilies, astilbe, hydrangea, eremurus and eucalyptus. 
    So that you won’t miss out on Convention next year, put June 13, 2023 on your calendar NOW to save the date!  It will be held at the Newagen Seaside Inn in Southport.  Although we are trying out a one day Convention, there will still be a garden tour, speaker, fabulous luncheon, and a chance to reconnect with old gardening club friends from around the state.
(Submitted by GCFM 2nd VP and Convention Chairman Karen Rea, Longfellow Garden Club, Photos by Ted Anderson)

    The GCFM 2022 Horticulture Scholarship Winner was announced at the Annual Convention on June 15th.  It is Marsha Bard, a rising senior at the University of Maine in Orono, majoring in Environmental Horticulture with the eventual goal of owning and operating production greenhouses growing native plants.     
    Marsha is not the typical undergraduate student, having taken a rather meandering road through life to get where she is now.  Graduating from high school in 2003, she really didn’t have a clear idea what she wanted to study; by 2006 she had dropped out of two state universities.  After Hurricane Katrina, she moved to New Orleans and spent the next two years with AmeriCorps doing disaster relief work, learning about resilience, courage, and how to lead groups of unskilled volunteers. Marsha Bard holding beet
    Marsha says, “It wasn’t until I turned 27 that I successfully grew a plant. That spring, my friend sent me some Roma tomato seeds she had saved. I had a bucket of soil in the back and I tossed them in, with little expectations. They were promptly forgotten, until one day I noticed a dozen seedlings stretching towards the sun. Excitement filled me with motivation. I read some blogs and articles about pruning and staking tomatoes and was rewarded with an impressive first harvest. I was in love.” 
    This led her to obtain a Certificate in Technical Studies in Horticulture Technology at the local community college, and on to working for the Edible Schoolyards New Orleans for 5 years. In her reference from the Program Manager, “Marsha’s varied experience in the service industry over the years has honed her ability to read, engage with, and work alongside people. Marsha is an absolute pleasure to work with. Interns under Marsha’s tutelage adore her and keep coming back. I believe the mighty combination of Marsha’s horticultural prowess and her people skills is her greatest asset.” When  COVID disrupted everyone’s lives in 2020 and schools shut down, Marsha came back home to take the opportunity to study at the University of Maine.  
    She has truly found her passion. We expect her to go places  and hear great things about her in the future and are proud to be able to help her achieve her goals. In addition to winning the GCFM Scholarship in the amount of $3,000, we are proud to announce that Marsha has also won a National Garden Club Scholarship of $4,000 as well as the Arthur C Clayton Horticultural Scholarship of $1,000, sponsored at U Maine by the Harpswell Garden Club.  (Submitted by GCFM 2nd VP and Convention Chairman Karen Rea, member of Longfellow Garden Club)


    The membership approved the budget put forth by the finance committee and previously approved by the board. The $25 website fees for clubs is waived. Dues remain at the same amount per person. 
    The membership voted that our website domain name have multi-user access and be the property of GCFM. If necessary, the domain name will be changed.
(Submitted by GCFM President Harriet Robinson)


Club of Distinction Awards

Certificate with Gold Seal
(Highest Number of Points)


300 points or more
     Bar Harbor

200 Points or more
     Boothbay Region

100 Poihts or more
     Brewer Garden and Bird Club


Yearbook Awards

Category 2:  20-29 mbrs
     1st Osewantha
     2nd Milo
     3rd Orrington

Category 3:  30-44 mbrs
     1st Brewer
     2nd Eliot
     3rd Gorham

Category 4: 45-49 mbrs
     1st Kennebec Valley
     2nd Longfellow
     3rd Scarborough

Category 5: 70-99 mbrs
     1st Bar Harbor
     2nd Bath
     3rd Wiscasset

Category 6:  100-199 mbrs
     1st Harpswell


     Brewer Garden & Bird Club
     Central Maine Garden Club
     Seacoast Garden Club
     Bar Harbor Garden Club


     Harpswell Garden Club

THOMAS G. ATWELL AWARD Best publicity dealing with GCFM objectives


HELENA E. GOFF CERTIFICATE Comprehebsive Horticulture programs
     St. Mary's and Wiscasset

STEPHANIE ANN SMITH CERTIFICATE Best active Garden Therapy program
     Boothbay Region and Seacoast

     Ellsworth Garden Club

(Submitted by Judy Stallworth, GCFM Awards Chairman)


    When Stroudwater treasurer and convention registrar Margaret Curran and convention chairman Karen Rea went to Bath Savings Bank in Falmouth to open an account for this year’s GCFM convention, they learned that the bank has a table for nonprofit organizations’ displays. Always open to a possibility to promote GCFM, Margaret asked Stroudwater District Director Donna Anderson and GCFM president Harriet Robinson about having a display. The district officers and GCFM president discussed it by email and quickly agreed that a display was a great idea. 
    Bank displayThe officers also thought that since the bank branch is in Falmouth and both Foreside and St Mary’s are in Falmouth, perhaps those clubs would like to take the lead and put out promotional materials for their clubs. Donna’s husband, a museum exhibit professional, designed and donated a poster to be the centerpiece.  Margaret secured a date in May. Margaret, who is also the St Mary’s president, and Fran Girard from Foreside set up a lovely display. 
    Now here’s the kicker: the bank was doing a promotion for new accounts in which they would make a donation to a nonprofit. Several people opening accounts while the display was there chose GCFM! Hopefully the two Falmouth clubs reaped the benefits, too, from shoppers at their plant sales or interest from new members. 
    Well done Stroudwater, in taking an opportunity and running with it!  If any other clubs have such an opportunity, Stroudwater will lend the poster.  (Submitted by Harriet Robinson, GCFM President)

    Well we are in the thick of garden season, aren’t we? The time of year that on our more formal days we only have dirt under our fingernails, as opposed to ground into our knees! But we are past the time of pushing wheelbarrows of mulch about. Maybe we are even taking a breather. For some of us the big display is passing, our peonies, roses, and iris have done their thing, and our gardens are entering a quiet period. But for others, a second peak is on the way. So what plants can we rely on for a show in late July and early August? Lots! Here are a few interesting plants to try if you don’t already have them.
    Sylphium perfoliatumFor a sunny garden spot, let’s start from the back of the border, with a real show-stopper in late July. Sylphium perfoliatum, or cup plant is a whopping six footer with pert, yellow daisy-like blossoms bending above your head in a breeze. But the foliage is such fun all season as the leaves literally make a cup around the stem. Pollinators can rely not only on the blooms but also on a drink of water from the little pools tiered up the stalk. In front of this or beside is another tall friend coming in at about four to five feet, Rudbeckia laciniata. It too has yellow daisy-shaped inflorescences which are slightly larger and softer than the sylphium. It’s cut leaves offer a different profile next to the more rigid, smooth edges of the sylphium as well. Mix any tall ornamental grass in there such as Miscanthus malpartus, and you have a high, waving meadow of yellows and textures to please the casual passer-by, or the pros! But mostly, I hope, to please yourself.
    In a part-shade garden, there are also some lovely bloomers toward the end of July. Actaea racemosa , formerly Cimicifuga racemosa, blooms reliably at this time, it’s soft, billowing, creamy flowers on long, arcing stems are delightful. Going by many common names such as snakeroot and bugbane, I think my favorite is “fairy candles.” The deep purple foliage of a cultivar like “Atropurpurea” is lovely too, even when the flowers aren’t present. Speaking of foliage, Hosta gets a bad rap as being merely about its leaves, but there are some beautiful, and beautifully scented Hosta blooms. Between some of my showier, large-leafed varieties I have a number of Hosta plantaginea and oh my stars the blossoms are fragrant! They can tolerate more sun than other hostas, but still love a part shade garden with well drained, rich soil best. Finally the astrantias are great in mid-July in a partially shaded garden. Shorter than the other plants mentioned here, they are a favorite for me because of their unique, spiky blooms. “Star of Fire” is a new cultivar with a lovely rose to mauve coloration that is soft and pretty with that purple foliage of the “Atropurpurea” Actaea behind it.
    So, welcome July, by all means hit the beach or the lake and relax. But if you get the urge, pick up the shovel and a few new plants, and let the color show continue!  (Submitted by GCFM Horticulture Chairman Katy Gannon-Janelle, member of the St. Mary's Garden Club) 

SUMMER FLORAL DESIGN WORKSHOPS - Did Art in Bloom pique your interest in Floral Design?

    You are in luck!  Our next sessions are July 13 featuring a Grouped Mass Design (photo) for Advanced and for Basic -  “Happy Fourth of July” - A Grouped Mass Design consisting of all blue, red, and white flowers. Green foliage may be used.  And August 10 with Multi-Rhythm Design for Advanced  (See NGC grouped mass design for ideas.)  and “We’re Having a Heat Wave” - A Tapestry Design for Basic. We meet at 10:00 a.m. for Advanced, and 1:00 p.m. for Basic.  Both take place at St. Mary’s Church Auditorium in Falmouth.   The Registration Form can be found on the GCFM website.  The form gives more information about the flower arrangements students will make. Contact Marilyn Traiser at for more information.  
    It’s been over five years since Judges Council started the floral Design Sessions using the designs presented in the NGC Handbook for Flower Shows as our guide.  We all have learned a lot and had many great times!  And now there is talk of starting a new session in the northern part of Maine - stay tuned!
    We started a new set of sessions in May and have added new sessions in both Basic and Advanced Design. They are held on the second Wednesday of the month.
    Jump right in…there are still vacancies.  Come and join us and discover at talent you may not know you had.  (Information submitted by Maine Judges' Council Chairman Marilyn Traiser, a member of the St. Mary's Garden Club)

The Sea Around Us:  Spectacular Homes blending Traditional and Modern designs.  Friday, July 15, from 9:30 am to 4:30 p.m. is the time to be in the Boothbay Region for their Home and Garden tour.  The numbers to call for Boothbay Region Garden Club tour tickets can be found here:
Tickets for the Camden Garden Club Tour on Thursday, July 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. are available locally and on their website at  Online purchasers bring your receipt, on the day the tour, to the Camden office of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2 Public Landing Street in Camden, to pick up your tickets.
The Garden Club of Mount Desert is pleased to announce this year's Open Garden Day will be Saturday, July 30 from 10:00 a.m. untill 4:00 p.m.  Six lovely gardens, all located in Northeast Harbor, will be on the tour.  The cost for tickets is $40 in advance or $45 if bought on the day of the tour.  Click this link to the Club's website to get information about ordering tickets in advance.  You can also see the local businesses who will offer advance tickets for sale between June 1 and July 29.  To see a description of the six gardens on the tour, click this link.  (Submitted by Mia Taradash, Publicity & Communications Chairman, Garden Club of Mount Desert) 
  Mosquitoes are the vectors for numerous diseases afflicting humans.  According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over one million people die from mosquito-borne diseases yearly. More than any other organism, Mosquitoes cause more human suffering.  Diseases associated with mosquitoes are Malaria, Chikungunya, Dog Heartworm, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus.
  To wage a successful strategic attack against the Enemy, you have to be knowledgeable of the mosquito.  Mosquitoes are attracted to human body sweat, and the carbon dioxide humans exhale.  Sweating is part of the human body’s cooling system.  If you can’t sweat, the body will become overheated, and you may contract heat stroke and perish.  So you need to sweat or, as the ladies would say, “Perspire.”  Breathing is also a vital function of the body, so we can’t change that!  We can wear long pants, long skirts, and long-sleeved shirts with tight weaves to prevent mosquito penetration.  Mosquitoes generally swarm close to the ground and view upward toward the sky.  So wear light-colored clothing during the day and dark-colored clothing at night.   Mosquitos are easily blown away by the wind. The peak time they attack is at dusk or dawn when the wind is calm.  Fans on the patio blowing away from you is a great deterrent!  Remove their breeding areas of small pools of water.  Even the smallest may have hundreds of mosquito larvae growing. 
   Make plants that mosquitoes detest a part of your landscape.  Basil (Ocimum americanum), Bee Balm (Monarda), Catmint (Nepeta faassentii), Catnip (Nepeta cataria), Cedar (Thuja species), Floss Flowers (Ageratum), Garlic (Allium sativum), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lucida), Eucalyptus, Mint (Mentha), Pineapple Wood (Matricaria), Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes alta), Wormwood (Artemisia), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Sage (Salvia officinalis) are a few to stand guard in your landscape.  Rosemary and sage burnt at a campfire will deter mosquitoes.
  Remedies that do not work are citronella candles; ultrasonic devices; eating bananas or garlic; mouthwash rubbed on your skin; high tech-traps, Deet scented bracelets.  
  Deet does work if used properly.  Spray a little on your hands, then rub where the skin is thin, such as ankles, elbows, wrists, and forehead.  Deet does cause allergic reactions, but it is rare.  Be cautious.
  Remember:  Mosquitos cause more human suffering than any other organism.  Don’t be a victim!  Be on the offensive and take the battle to the mosquito!  (From the NGC Blog June 6, 2022, by Donna Rouch, NGC 2nd VP.  Sign up for NGC Blog notifications.) 
    The St. Croix District Garden Clubs held its Annual Meeting and Luncheon on May 24, 2022 in the reception hall of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Ellsworth, Maine. This statement seems ordinary on the surface.  However, the Annual Meeting this year was the first in-person gathering since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic in early 2020.
    May 24th emerged as a picture-perfect Maine day – blue skies, a constant breeze, bright sunshine – allowing the windows and doors in the hall to be wide open.  Picnic tables were set up for lunch in the parking area by the church.
     The excitement as people arrived for the meeting was electric – the twinkling eyes above the masks and the heartfelt no-hugs greetings said it all.  The tables in the hall looked beautiful – table cloths were adorned with bouquets of flowers from the garden tended by outgoing Treasurer Jay Barnes.
    Patty McGinty, District Director, welcomed the attendees and thanked Monica Moeller, President, and members of the Ellsworth Garden Club for their dogged efforts to make this a reality.  We are grateful to Patty for keeping the district united and active during the pandemic years.
     Patty introduced guests Harriet Robinson, President of GCFM, and Madison Jones, a Junior at the University of Maine, Orono, who is the Nell Goff Scholarship Winner for 2022. The meeting proceeded with the roll call of clubs, officer reports, and budget approval.  Committee reports were submitted electronically.
     The Campership Program is a rotating program among the clubs in the St. Croix District:  This year, the Evergreen Garden Club President Kathie Keane announced with that the club will sponsor six campers to the Camp Kooky Day Camp in 2022.  Note:  The camp was named by the children.

     The Installation of Officers was presided over by the GCFM President, Harriet Robinson.  For the 2022 – 2024 term the Officers for the St Croix District are:  Phyllis Mobraaten (Bar Harbor), Director; Dianne McMullen (Bar Harbor), Assistant Director; Cindi Kimball (Bucksport), Secretary; Patty McGinty (Bucksport), Treasurer.
     GCFM President Harriet Robinson gave an inspiring address.   She emphasized the need to attract more members, especially younger members, keeping in mind that gardening is our first priority in creating programs to attract new members.  She described how zoom has fostered meetings during the pandemic and how it allowed programs to bring in many more notable speakers than possible with previous in-person meetings. She also described a number of changes in GCFM operations, including an updated website, to encourage participation and leadership. 
    The speaker for the Annual Meeting was Colleen Teerling, Forest Entomologist at the Maine Forest Servest Insect and Disease Lab.  Her presentation was entitled “Insect Threats to our Trees and What You Can Do.”   Topics included Emerald Ash Borer, Brown Tail Moth, and Jumping Worms (technically not insect, however a threat to our forests). 
    Attendees left for their journeys home with thanks and appreciation for the dedication of the members of the Ellsworth Garden Club for making this meeting safe and possible.  (Submitted by Phyllis Mobraaten, St. Croix District Director, and Monica Moeller, President, Ellsworth Garden Club)


    At the June award ceremony Joan Toy, president of the Bath Garden Club accepted the award from the National Garden Club.
    A Blue Star Marker from 1956 was restored and placed in a garden next to the train station in Bath jus next to the US RT 1 ramp.  The building is also home to Main Street Bath and the Information Center.  The project was a real community effort with much heavy lifting by Bath Public Works Staff.  A garden was designed and planted by a committee of Bath Garden Club members headed by Pam Lajuenesse.  Gardeners worked during the summers and held a dedication ceremony in the fall of 2021.  (Submitted by Judy Stallworth, Bath Garden Club)


    Rachel McClellan set up Mt. Blue Area Garden Club’s website pretty quickly because she had already pushed through her own learning curve on building a personal site, described below.  Rachel says if you’re reasonably tech-savvy and have a vision of what you want to build, it’s completely achievable and a couple one-hour updating sessions a month is all that’s needed to keep it up-to-date.  
    Rachel and her husband, Glenn Miller, are new to Maine. After about a year traveling in a small RV, they chose Farmington, Maine as home.  Rachel researched how and built their website, Haven’s Path, to blog about journey from Colorado. (You can read about their first visit to Farmington in 2019 Today the site is a digital time capsule, a travelog of memories.
    Here are Rachel's three steps to get started:
    The first step to setting up a website is acquiring a URL, also known as a web address or domain name. There are several options available. Google Domains is the registrar I used, but there are others that offer this service, including, which I’ll explore more about in a bit. Expect to pay $10 to $20 per year to maintain the rights to the name of your website. Unless you opt to upgrade to a paid web hosting plan, this will be your sole hard cost.
    With that complete, the second step is choosing a hosting platform. There are many available that make the mechanics of building a website relatively straightforward. These include GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, and my favorite:
    I can’t speak to the other platforms, so what I’ll be describing here relates only to
    If you’re brand new to this arena, be careful not to confuse with its forebear The former is newbie-friendly and the latter is definitely for more experienced web builders and coders. Don’t worry about accidentally mixing them up. Once you’re set up on, the two do a good job of keeping users in their proper lanes. 
    After setting up a free account in, you can choose and register your URL and begin to build your site using their many free templates. They will, of course, let you know often that you can upgrade to a paid plan to remove ads from your site and get access to more flexible and powerful tools. But for the purposes of standing up a garden club website, these bells and whistles are unnecessary. 
    With those steps behind you, the third step is to experiment with the free templates and settle on one you like.  I strongly recommend exploring other websites and creating an outline of the features and structure you’re looking for. With those requirements as reference, you’re less likely to get lost in the ocean of choices you’ll face in this step.  Once you’ve settled on a template, you can start customizing it with your own words and pictures. 
    So, what’s the catch to getting a free site? It’s not for everyone. Each person’s learning curve and their patience with the process will vary.  But it's free! So. why not give it a try? (Submitted by Rachel McClellan, Chairperson Mt. Blue Area Garden Club PR and Technology Function)


   The NEGC Annual Meeting in October will feature a photography contest open to any member who'd like to show off their photography skills.  To find out more details on how to enter and an explanation of the classes of photos, click this link to the registration form.  Entries will be professionally judged and the winners will be featured at the meeting to be hosted in Nashua, NH by the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs (see related article below about the Annual Meeting).  Arabella Dane, coordinator of the NEGC Photography Group, will be receiving all entries starting May 1st till August 30th.  Entries should be sent to her at  (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, Assistant to NEGC Photography Chairman, Arabella Dane)


    For those interested in attending the Northern New England Tri-State Symposium, the deadline to register is August 8th.  The Symposium is open to anyone interested in learning more about floral design and related horticultural topics.  The Judges Council members of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are sponsoring this event which is open to all garden club members.  The Symposium will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire starting Monday, August 22nd to Wednesday, August 24th.  To learn more about the event, you can download the registration form by going to the New England Garden Clubs website at and then clicking on the SYMPOSIUMS tab.  (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, former NEGC Region Director)


    The second, in a series of Zoom webinars focusing on improving your photography skills, is slated for Tuesday, August 16th from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.  The guest speaker will be Colleen Miniuk, a professional photographer from Arizona, whose topic is “Joy in the Little Things:  Macro and Close-up Photography.”  Colleen has won many awards for her photography and has authored several photography guides.  Among her many accolades, she was the Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park on three different occasions, and authored the award-winning guidebook “Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How.”   The cost is $10 and you can register to attend by clicking the link  Webinar Registration - Zoom.  The webinar is hosted by the New England Garden Clubs Photography Group led by award-winning photographer and judge Arabella Dane of New Hampshire.   (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, Assistant to NEGC Photography Chairman, Arabella Dane)


   The Northern New England Tri-State Symposium, scheduled for August 22-24, 2022, is now open for registration.  The form can be found on the New England Garden Clubs website or by clicking this link.  For those not familiar with what a symposium is, it's an in-depth course of study pertaining to design, horticulture, and allied subjects pertaining to flower shows.  All flower show judges must periodically refresh their accreditation with course attendance at symposiums.  Even if you're not a flower show judge, you can learn a lot about the fundamentals of flower show judging by attending a symposium. 
   This year's course instructors are Julia Clevett and Darlene Newell.  Julia, originally from the United Kingdom, is now a resident of Virginia.  She's a master flower show judge, an NGC design instructor, and currently serves as the NGC Symposium Chairman.  Darlene is a resident of West Virginia, a master flower show judge, an NGC design instructor, and currently serves as the NGC Horticulture Instructors Chairman. 
   The symposium will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Manchester, NH.  Room rates are $149 per night and reservations may be made by contacting the hotel at 603-625-1000.  Remember to ask for the NEGC Symposium room rate when contacting the hotel. (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, former NEGC Region Director) 


     The New England Garden Clubs will hold its annual meeting October 18-19, 2022 at the Nashua Event Center (see photo) which is part of the Marriott Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire.  The registration form can be found on the NEGC website at by clicking on the MEETINGS tab.  This year’s meeting is hosted by the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs and is open to all garden club members in the six New England states.  Highlights are a photography competition, a talk by Amy Cordello, representative of the Proven Winners plant breeding line from Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire, and finally a fashion show.  For those members who’d like to enter the photography competition, you can find the contest registration form by clicking this link. (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, former NEGC Region Director)



    National Garden Clubs (NGC) held its first in-person convention (since 2019 and the pandemic outbreak) in Orlando, Florida from May 16th to the 20th.  Attending from the Garden Club Federation of Maine was Suzanne Bushnell of the Harpswell Garden Club who also serves as the Vice Chairman of the NGC’s Protocol Committee.  While the registration numbers were down from previous conventions, all those who traveled to Florida were excited to finally be able to meet again in person.

    Highlights included the Awards Banquet where one of our clubs was honored as the overall winner in the category of landscaping their Blue Star Marker.  The Bath Garden Club not only received a certificate for this award but also a check in the amount of $100!  Along with receiving their individual state awards, the State Presidents in attendance were presented with a lovely canvas bag with the Plant America logo and their presidential certificate, from NGC President Mary Warshauer, honoring them as being a new member of the NGC Board of Directors.

    The final evening was the always-popular floral design banquet which featured two internationally known florists from Florida.  Their lavish designs for the banquet carried out the theme of “Plant America: Play Outdoors” (see photo of their interpretation of a lighted fairy house).  (Submitted by Suzanne Bushnell, Vice Chairman of the NGC Protocol Committee)

EDITOR'S NOTE:   If you'd like us to publicize your events in an upcoming newsletter, our next issue is September.  The deadline to get your information to our Newsletter Editor is August 20th.  Early submissions are always welcome.  Send your information to Carmen Weatherbie by clicking this link.

Thank you to Suzanne Bushnell, prior editor since 2015, for your years of dedicated service and for your gracious transplanting of knowledge and terrific tips on how to do this job!  
*  July 14               Open Garden Day, 557 Hartland Avenue, Pittsfield (rain date July 15)
*  August 4            Open Garden Day, 101 Hemlock Terrace, Augusta
*  August 10          GCFM Board Meeting, Viles Foundation, Augusta, 10a - 2:30p
*  September 10    Open Garden Day, 275 Eastside Drive, Verona Island
October 18 - 19  NEGC Annual Meeting, Event Center/Courtyard Marriott, Nashua, NH
* November 1*      GCFM Fall Conference, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, *Tentatively*                         

Harriet Robinson
Copyright © 2022 Garden Club Federation of Maine, All rights reserved.

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