Seaside Garden Club’s Auction Always a Perennial Success

The Seaside Garden Club’s annual auction was an outstanding success due to the hard work of its members and generous donations from many area businesses. A large crowd gathered when the doors opened at 6:00 on May 13th at the Manchester Community Center for a preview of the auction items. The club’s board members had been busy at work for hours beforehand, arranging and labeling the many plants and handmade garden art pieces. Auctioneer Debbie DiGiovanni explained that some of the perennials are heirloom plants and originated from some of the lovely gardens and estates in the area. The club is very appreciative of the generous donations from local businesses: Ryan & Wood Distilleries, Sea Meadow Gifts, North Coast Too!, Goose Cove Gardens, Found Objects, Marshalls Farm Stand, Brick Ends Farm and Neptune’s Harvest. After such a long, cold spring, the beautiful flowering plants from Wolf Hill and Utopia Farms had the attendees bidding up the prices! 100% of the proceeds from the auction fund the club’s community service activities and programs throughout the year.

Besides lovely perennials and beautiful hanging flowering baskets there were many creative garden art objects that drew high bids.  Members repurposed chairs into interesting plant containers, created handmade garden signs and made mobiles out of driftwood. Maureen Terrill, the Seaside Garden Club’s own graphic artist, designed colorful aprons, debuted by the board members at the auction. Donations also came from businesses beyond the local area: the HerbFARMacy in Salisbury and Bella Flora (owned and operated by former Manchester resident Annie (Masiero) Whalen) in Great Barrington, MA also contributed to the auction’s success.  A special thanks to Kirk Hoysrsdt, who generously donated a round trip cruise on the brand new Nova Star Ferry that sails between Portland Maine and Nova Scotia.  The Nova Star just recently sailed on its maiden voyage and features many amenities, including full service dining, cabins and entertainment.


Sheila Jones Schrank led us in a hands on workshop creating garden art for our gardens. We used beach pebbles & glass nuggets. The tiles became frost-proof and permanent pieces.

mosiac demomosiac trays

The Seaside Garden club was thrilled to have the always entertaining Fred Rice present his new program entitled “The Well Decorated Garden” on Tuesday, March 11th at the Manchester Community Center. We are pleased to announce that this program was open to all at no charge, thanks to the generosity of the Manchester Cultural Council.

Fred Rice, former Manchester resident (now residing in Rome, New York), is a well known garden designer, consultant and sought-after horticultural lecturer. He has nearly 30 years experience as a lecturer/public speaker throughout the Eastern United States and in the UK.  His former home at 9 Friend Street in Manchester was open regularly for garden tours and has been featured in many publications, including Country Homes, Country Gardens, The English Garden and Dream Gardens Across America. In addition, Fred has many stage and screen credits to his name for wig and makeup design. His resume also includes floral design and consultation and teaching. Visit Fred’s website for more information: http://frederickrice.com/

Fred RiceFred and raffle winner

Bob Downey introduced the club and guests to the wonderful world of bonsai.  He presented the history and art of bonsai as well as demonstrated bonsai creation and styling. Bob Downey was the president and now co-president of the Northeast Bonsai Association for over 30 years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this art.
Bonsai is the art of dwarfing trees or plants and developing them into an aesthetically appealing shape by growing, pruning and training them in containers according to prescribed techniques. In Japanese, bonsai can be literally translated as ‘tray planting’ but since originating in Asia, so many centuries ago – it has developed into a whole new form. Overall, bonsai is a great interest, hobby or even profession to undertake. It has to be said that a successful bonsai is most definitely a horticultural masterpiece.

Bob Downey

Bob Downey



Fall Into the Holidays

October 8 – Fall Into the Holidays: A Home Décor Demonstration and Raffle by Bert Ford of Ford’s Flowers
A high energy program with the focus on home decor. Bert will demonstrate tablescapes, wall and door decor and ideas for decorating your home for this festive time of the year (Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas)IMG_3462IMG_3460IMG_3464

The Seaside Garden Club kicked off their 2013 programs with Enhancing your Property Value through Landscape Design with Doug Cook on February 12th at the Manchester Community Center.

Doug Cook 1 IMG_2158
Every year homeowners spend tens of thousands of dollars updating kitchens and bathrooms in hopes of increasing the resale value of their homes.  Doug Cook, of Landesign of Gloucester, believes that investing in the landscape design of your property will increase the return on your investment even more.   Doug’s presentation will show the different techniques he has used to help his clients realize the full potential of their property by creating functional and beautiful outdoor living spaces and landscapes.  From large scale to small, Doug will show examples through slides and group discussion.

In business for over 17 years, Landesign is both a residential and commercial design practice built on of experience on Boston’s premier North Shore properties. It has established quality and excellence in landscape design, site planning and project management and it continually strives to raise the standard in the built landscape.  Landesign’s goal is to enhance the quality of life at home through comprehensive, professional, design practice. With every project, they aspire to create a unique sense of place that interacts with the character of its surroundings. While providing amenities for leisure and recreation, they conceive of spaces that are both functional and visually satisfying. Doug is very active in the community, using his expertise to beautify landscapes for various public projects.  Visit Landesign’s website: http://www.landesign.biz/index.html

November 13th, 2012: Hydrangeas for Southern New England with Mal Condon

Hydrangeas continue to be a very popular woody ornamental genus. Widely grown along our New England Coastline, they create something special in so many gardens. This discussion will include climate and plat siting, review of the major species, best pruning practices and cultural issues such as fertilizing and bloom color control as well as winter protection techniques. This presentation will be a digital presentation with detailed graphics relevant to all topics. A Q&A session will follow.

A lifelong gardener, Mal has always loved the genus hydrangea and began collecting plants from his extensive travels during his engineering career. His retirement in 1999 allowed him to pursue hydrangea nurturing with total commitment. Ever the engineer, he brings a strong technical and investigative nature to the continuing development of the genus – searching for new and better plants, evaluating their landscape performance, and finding superior ways to produce them. Hydrangea Farm on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts has become a much visited location for serious hydrangeaphiles. Visit the Hydrangea Farm’s website: hydrangeafarm.com

Note: Program Location and Time are different. This is a shared program with the North Shore Horticultural Society and will be held at the American Legion Post #113 (located at 13 Church Street, behind Manchester Town Hall ) on Tuesday, November 13th at 7:30 pm.


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