Driftwood Garden Club Annual Luncheon 2022!

After a busy year of educational programs, a successful Plant Sale, maintaining the gardens at the Abbot Public Library, and working in our own gardens, members of the Driftwood Garden Club relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company at our Annual Luncheon in June. The weather was delightful and our hostess’s garden was picture perfect. 

Our outgoing President recapped the year and welcomed the new Officers and Board of Director Members.

Our incoming President and Club Historian highlighted the 70Th Anniversary of the Driftwood Garden Club’s founding in 1952.  Happy Birthday to the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead!

Next year will be a year of transition as the library is renovated.  The DGC is flexible and committed to another civic project, whatever that may be.  Each member received a sentimental hosta plant, divided from hostas planted at the library many years ago.


Driftwood Garden Club Plant Sale 2022!

Many thanks to all our fellow gardeners, friends, families, and neighbors who bought plants at the Driftwood Garden Club Plant Sale on 5/7/22. We loved seeing your smiling faces as you carefully chose plants for your own gardens or to give as gifts. Thanks so much for your support.

The selection of specialty plants, including double bloodroot and trillium, sold out quickly. Hanging baskets, annuals, herbs, and succulents were popular. Gardeners marveled at the variety of healthy ground covers, sun and shade perennials, as well as orchids and hand-crafted baskets for Mother’s Day gifts.

And it’s a Wrap! DGC members enjoying lunch at The Landing after the sale!

Hope to see you next year!

From our gardens to yours, we hope your Driftwood Garden Club plants continue to thrive!


Art in Bloom 2022

On Friday April 29th, members of the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to the annual Art in Bloom festival. Members Ginny von Rueden and Laurie Boggis created a fantastic flower arrangement reflecting the colors and design intricacies of this exquisite tapestry.

What a Great Job!

Other favorites are shown below – be sure to click on photo to enlarge and get the full effect!

These photos courtesy of Andrea Gregory.


This is how we Dig and Divide!

In preparation for our annual Plant Sale on May 7, 2022, members of the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead grab their tools and head out to their gardens. We have several local ‘host’ gardens where members carefully divide various varieties of perennials.  We dig them, split into smaller sections, and then repot each plant in fresh potting soil.  Members clean up the host garden bed and replenish the soil. Then each member takes several plants home to water and nurture until the sale.

Please join us on Saturday, May 7th from 8:30 to 11:30 AM at the Masonic Hall, 62 Pleasant Street, Marblehead.  Come meet the DGC members and learn about the plants you purchase.  Also for sale are orchids, annuals, and other flowering plants perfect for Mother’s Day gifts!


Divide and Conquer!

The Driftwood Garden Club’s April ’22 meeting was well attended at Abbot Public Library as well as on Zoom. Featured presenter was long-time DGC Civic Committee Chair Lisa Biggio, a Master Gardener and Horticultural Therapist. Lisa provided educational handouts, tools, and plenty of Sansevieria (now in genus Dracaena) plants for us to divide and replant in this hands-on meeting.

Lisa’s Tips to Divide & Conquer

Divide perennials to make healthier plants in our garden:

  • Divide when a plant looks good.
  • Start digging at the drop line.
  • Divide in cool weather.
  • Keep roots cool and moist.
  • Replenish soil with organic matter.
  • Use vigorous sections first.
  • Take extra care when plant is in bloom.
  • Keep only the healthiest pieces.
  • Spread out your divisions.
  • Let the roots be your guide.

These are a few of our favorite things!

Yes, Lisa has a favorite potting soil by Pro-Mix. Look for a high-quality soil mix containing peatmoss and perlite for moisture retention.

Here are Lisa’s favorite tools, which she cleans and disinfects with a mild bleach solution or “green” citrus cleaner after each use.

Opening a can of worms…

We continue to educate ourselves on invasive Asian jumping worms which have been identified here in Massachusetts. Jumping worms deplete the topsoil of nutrients and moisture. Lisa’s handout had good information and listed resources for additional material. The garden club will have a Master Gardener on hand at the plant sale to answer questions.

Next week starts Driftwood Garden Club’s big effort to dig and divide in host gardens around Marblehead as a source of plants for the plant sale.  We are getting ready for the Plant Sale! See you on Saturday, May 7 from 8:30-11:30 AM at the Masonic Hall, 62 Pleasant Street, Marblehead!


Driftwood Garden Club Bookworms!

Many of our members have belonged to book clubs over the years and most still do! Reading in the garden is one of our great joys. In the garden, we can read alone, with others, and especially to our children and grandchildren. Our members have read many books about flowers, plants, insects, trees, and the wildlife our gardens provide for, so we thought it might be nice to start a reading list created by members to recommend flower or nature-themed books which have been enjoyed over time.

DGC Reading List

We welcome you to help create the Driftwood Garden Club Reading List by making book suggestions or comments. To suggest a book, click here

Let’s give it a try!

For our Gardeners

Recommended by Ginny Von Rueden

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“A young woman with a difficult childhood finds her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. She realizes she has a gift for helping other through the flowers she chooses for them”.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

“A novel about a 19th century American woman who becomes a world-renowned botanist…travels the world meeting unforgettable characters..and explores the mysteries of evolution”

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

“One of the most beloved books of our time: an illuminating account of the forest, and the science that shows us how trees communicate, feel, and live in social networks. After reading this book a walk in the woods will never be the same again.”

Unearthing the Secret Garden by Marta McDowell

Bestselling author Marta McDowell has revealed the way that plants have inspired some of our most cherished authors, including Beatrix Potter, Emily Dickinson, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. In her latest, she shares a moving account of how gardening deeply inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of the beloved children’s classic The Secret Garden. Complementing her fascinating account with charming period photographs and illustrations, McDowell paints an unforgettable portrait of a great artist and reminds us why The Secret Garden continues to touch readers after more than a century. This deeply moving and gift-worthy book is a must-read for fans of The Secret Garden and anyone who loves the story behind the story

For our L’il Sprouts

Recommended by Barbie Saraceno

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Explore the secret world beneath the dirt that brings the world of nature to life: up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home. With Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, you can explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsen Burnett

One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.

Well Loved Gardening Reference Books

Recommended by Harriett Magee

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

This is an encyclopedic guide to planting and pruning techniques, detailing differences among deadheading, cutting back, disbudding, thinning and when/what season and how to apply these techniques. Author also covers design, pests and diseases, staking, and dividing. This 415-page book is well organized, easy to use, and beautifully illustrated with photos.

To suggest a book, click here


Mindfulness in the Garden!

Mindfulness coach Michele Frank Schuckel speaks to Driftwood Garden Club members.

In March 2022, members of the Driftwood Garden Club walked down a different garden path (figuratively!) with our guest speaker Michele Frank Schuckel. Michele, who is a registered nurse, a mindfulness coach, and a master gardener, described gardening as a mindful activity. She touched on the things we can control and the things we can’t control, and gave us useful suggestions to practice. Among the many wellness choices for longevity and health for gardeners, we should strive to cultivate connections; exercise; grow and eat a rainbow of foods; hydrate; and rest.  She says, “feed your plants and your purpose.”

Wellness is health in mind and body. Wellness is having the tools to navigate the ups and downs of life. Wellness is self-compassion, and compassion for others. Wellness is being present in your life.

Ms. Schuckel suggests we all cultivate an attitude of gratitude with ourselves, with each other, and in our gardens!


Residential Design: Try This at Home

At the beginning of the design or redesign of the landscape around your house, take pictures. They will give you a far more accurate perspective of your site than studying it in real time. At the end, keep and catalogue the tags from the plant material installed so you won’t have to guess when adding material to foundation plantings in the future. These were just two of Laura Bibler’s many suggestions for the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead members attending the February 17 program, Residential Design: Try This at Home.

All Residential Design photos courtesy of Laura Bibler of In the Garden.

Bibler, who started her West Newbury-based business, In the Garden, 22 years ago, attracted 32 attendees to her presentation, including 5 members from the public. A write-up in the print edition of The Marblehead Reporter and a flyer posted by Abbot Library in their foyer likely also helped boost attendance, in addition to ongoing social media postings.

A running theme of the evening was getting a fresh perspective on the existing area and devising a concept, plan, and installation approach that harmonized with the context and physical characteristics of surrounding landscape. For example, the front, back, and two end areas of a typical house will require plants with differing sun and shade tolerance.

President Susan Smith announced to the membership that the upcoming March 14 program, Healthy Gardeners: Mindfulness in the Garden, will be presented live at the library as well as on Zoom. Good news!


Designing Shady Retreats!

Designing a Shady Retreat photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.

Many thanks to Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens for the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead’s well-attended January 2022 presentation on Zoom. Joan’s presentation of ‘Designing Shady Retreats’ has a wealth of ideas for those dappled spots in our yards.

Joan recommends many design techniques:

  • Make a color connection and choose companion plants with similar colors, or use companions on the opposite side of the color wheel.
  • Add balance to the design with fine textures, a variety of plant sizes, and use of solid foliage to offset variegated foliage.
  • Use layering and repetition to draw the eye to a focal point in the garden. Joan says, ‘where the eye leads, the feet will follow.’
  • Include rocks in the garden with a water feature, and to offer seating, and sense of structure.
  • Group plants in masses to be noticed from a distance.
Epimedium “Spring Wedding” photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.
Bloodroot “Multiplex” photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.

Joan Butler has been an enthusiastic gardener for over 30 years and believes gardens should invite you to linger in the world outside your door.  Please visit Enchanted Garden Design’s website at enchantedgardendesign.com for additional information on their design, speaking engagements, and guided tours of gardens and nurseries.

Shade border photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.