Driftwood Garden Club 2023 Plant Sale

Thank You to all our gardening friends and the north shore gardening community for supporting the 2023 Driftwood Garden Club plant sale, making it our most successful sale ever!

It takes a village to orchestrate this event. We are grateful for the plant contributions dug from our host gardens, and appreciate all the ‘man hours’ of our fabulous DGC members!  A shout-out to Louise Moore at Every Little Breeze catering for keeping us caffeinated, to Discover Marblehead’s Spring Celebration, and to Marblehead Gardens for the luscious annuals.

We had over 1,300 plants representing 100 varieties. May all your new plants bloom and thrive in their new homes.

See you next year!  And yes, ‘You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Garden!’


Plant Sale Saturday, May 13th

The Driftwood Garden Club’s annual plant sale will be held Saturday, May 13th at the Masonic Hall, Marblehead, from 8:30-11:30 AM.  The sale features perennials, annuals, ground covers, and herbs, many from local gardens. Garden Club members will be on hand to answer questions and help select plants for your garden. The Driftwood Garden Club is an all-volunteer organization. Proceeds from the sale are used to maintain and improve several gardens and other civic projects in the town of Marblehead, MA.


Art in Bloom 2023.

Art in Bloom is the Museum of Fine Art’s signature spring event highlighting the interpretive floral arrangements of 45 different art works.

Driftwood Garden Club members Ginny von Rueden and Laurie Boggis were assigned to interpret the large marble sculpture ‘Orpheus and Cerberus’ by American artist Thomas Crawford. Crafted in 1843, this statue reflects the 19th century fascination with the classical mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. According to the legend, Orpheus rushes to the Underworld to rescue his wife Eurydice, and lulls the three-headed dog Cerberus to sleep.

Like the sculpture, the floral arrangement displays movement from every viewpoint. The arrangement tells the story of love, loss, and mourning, using plant material representing different parts of the statue.

Ginny and Laurie chose plant material according to the language of flowers:

  • White roses symbolize love and loyalty.
  • Carnations signify purity and also Orpheus’ head of hair.
  • Ruscus mimics the laurel wreath on his head.
  • Orchids denote eternal love and also the curving shape of his arms.
  • Dusty Miller mimics the dog’s fur and gray tones in the marble.
  • Fantail Willow branches indicate the shape of the lyre and the importance of music in the story.
  • Sago Palm branches represent the classical theme of the tale.

Members of the Driftwood Garden Club enjoyed a guided tour of floral arrangements created by many other garden clubs. We were fortunate to have two knowledgeable guides: one was an expert in the chosen piece of art, and the other was an expert in floral design.

Some other favorite pieces include:

Congratulations to fellow DGC members Laurie Boggis and Ginny von Rueden on their 2023 Arts in Bloom floral masterpiece.  Brava!


Dig and Divide Workshop!


The Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead’s April ’23 meeting focused on this month’s work–preparing plants for our upcoming plant sale on May 13. Members gathered at the Abbot Library at Eveleth School, a busy place! Nonetheless, we found comfortable spots to snack, catch up on news, and learn new techniques to prepare plants for the sale.

Our hostesses provided snacks to start off our meeting. At the beginning of spring, we all love to compare notes on what’s coming up in our gardens!

There is a tremendous amount of planning needed to launch the annual plant sale. Every year we have many dedicated people who contribute countless hours to organize materials, recruit volunteers to “lend” out their gardens for club members to dig up extra plants, schedule the “dig and divide” days, and teach members how to get plants ready for the sale.

Our Program chairperson and Plant Sale organizers updated members on dates and planning for the “dig and divide” days and the materials and tools we will need to bring on work days.

We learned how to open the digital plant lists on our phones so we can record the plants we’ll be bringing from our gardens. Driftwood Garden Club is definitely in the 21st Century for technology!

And one of our Master Gardeners showed us how to gently dig up and divide the roots on our plants, plant them in pots lined with damp newspapers and other lining materials, and place them at the proper depth in the potting soil. Who knew that the round basket type of coffee filter is a great liner for the bottom of a pot! We learned about perfect sizes for containers, garden tools we will need, and even advice on the best weather to dig and divide plants. We received a handout of common perennials we might have in our gardens and those we will be digging up for the sale from volunteers’ gardens. We’ll have the list on our phones, too, so we can stay organized!

We’re all looking forward to Spring and our Annual Plant Sale!


Floral Arranging 101…

The Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead’s March ’23 meeting offered a hands-on Spring Floral Arrangement Workshop led by our own Susan McMullen. Susan (along with other DGC members Laurie Boggis and Ginny von Rueden) regularly contributes artistic arrangements to adorn the historic Jeremiah Lee Mansion.

Susan started us off with tips on proper preparation of the oasis foam and plant material. Our greenery consisted of the contrasting textures of soft Asparagus Fern and the smooth leaves of Ruscus.

And now we add flowers! Keeping to the Rule of Three, our flowers consisted of the contrasting shapes and textures of purple Veronica, coral Spray Roses, and yellow Solidago.

Here’s creative magic at its best. All participants started with the same materials, but every finished arrangement is unique!


Good Guys versus Bad Guys!

Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead members gathered at the Abbot Public Library to listen and learn about native plants versus invasive species. The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) defines invasive plants as “non-native species that have spread into native or minimally managed plant systems in Massachusetts.  These plants cause economic or environmental harm by developing self-sustaining populations and becoming dominant and/or disruptive to those systems.”    

In the presentation by Suzanne Mahler, who has been sharing her passion for gardening for more than 30 years, we learned that many invasive plant species alter the surrounding soil to make it more difficult for native plants to survive. Suzanne described various ways to battle invasive plants and reminded us that those should only be disposed of in your trash, not in the compost pile!

Bad Guys, definitely bad guys, include: garlic mustard, creeping Charlie, buckthorn, barberry, burning bush, bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, purple loosestrife, phragmite common reed, and Japanese knotweed.

Invasive Japanese knotwood is definitely a bad guy!

Some Good Guys, very good guys, include: native aster, coreopsis, turtlehead, beebalm, Joe Pye weed, sweet pepper clethera, winterberry holly, American dogwood, red cedar juniper, milkweed, bloodroot, black-eyed Susan, phlox, and liatris.

A Good Guy – Common milkweed is an important source of food for monarch butterflies.

Presenter Suzanne Mahler recommends several resources: grownativemass.org; www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife; www.mass.gov/service-details/invasive-plants, as well as visiting the Garden in the Woods, home of the Native Plant Trust, in Framingham, MA.

According to Garden in the Woods, “The ultimate goal for the ecological gardener is a beautiful garden that provides year-round interest, supports local wildlife, absorbs and filters rainwater, and improves air quality.” 

So let’s plant more Good Guys!


An Enchanting Tour of English Gardens.

On a cold January evening, Driftwood Garden Club current president Ginny von Rueden delighted the audience with highlights of the group tour she organized of Great Houses and Gardens of Yorkshire and the Lake District of England.

This was our first gathering held in the meeting room at the temporary library while Abbot Public Library undergoes extensive renovations. Many thanks to our hostesses and to the staff of the library for such a warm welcome.

The Tour! Planned in honor of Driftwood Garden Club’s 70th Birthday, the travelers were led by head gardeners in such exquisite sites such as York Minster, Littlethorpe Manor, Castle Howard (of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Bridgerton’ fame), Harlow Carr Gardens, Parcevall Hall, Levens Hall, Lowther Castle, and Holker Hall. Tour members enjoyed a private lakeside cruise along Windemere and a visit to Beatrix Potter’s home at Hilltop Farmhouse.

Please note that Ginny von Rueden will also present ‘A Tour of English Gardens’ for the Council on Aging Marblehead Speaker Series on Wednesday, February 15th at 12:30 pm.


‘Tis the Season to Decorate Holiday Wreaths!

Making Seasons Bright! Members of the Driftwood Garden Club gathered at the Jacobi Community Center to adorn over 50 fresh holiday wreaths and swags which are distributed by the Council on Aging to Marblehead residents.

DGC bow-making experts demonstrated their technique while the others decorated the fresh greenery with ornaments, pinecones, dried flowers and glitter.

Wishing all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!


Sneak Peek …Driftwood Garden Club elves help decorate King Hooper for Christmas Walk!

Please enjoy the Winter Wonderland décor created by five local garden clubs at Marblehead Arts Association’s King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead. The Open House is Thursday evening 12/1 from 5-7 PM, and the mansion is open to the public during Christmas Walk hours on Saturday 12/3 and Sunday12/4 from noon till 5 PM.

Driftwood Garden Club elves installed the design created by members Ginny von Rueden and Laurie Boggis.


Save the Date, Local Garden Clubs Decorate King Hooper Mansion.

Please mark your calendars to visit Marblehead Arts Association’s “Winter Wonderland” at the King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead, MA. Enjoy the festive holiday décor provided by Marblehead local garden clubs.

Open House is Thursday evening, December 1st from 5-7 PM.  The Artisans Holiday Marketplace and Winter Members Exhibition in the mansion will be open during the Marblehead Christmas Walk, Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4th from 12-5 PM.

And now … here’s a sneak peak of Driftwood Garden Club members working on the stunning design created by longtime-members Ginny von Rueden and Laurie Boggis.

Stay tuned for pictures of the final results installed in the King Hooper Mansion!