The Hopkinton Garden Club recently recognized extraordinary accomplishments within the club as well as in the field of horticulture.
The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts Unsung Hero Award for Hopkinton Garden Club was awarded to Martin Bayes, “who always volunteers where needed — including at just about every planting opportunity,” the club shared. “Martin continuously demonstrates a commitment to making our club a better place, puts many hours into Garden Club efforts, and is always positive. He embodies the spirit of volunteerism and is a true unsung hero in our club.”
A Hopkinton Garden Club Extraordinary Effort Award was presented to Diane McCauley for her spring 2023 Business Sponsorship Program efforts (in the travel absence of program co-chair Mary Reynolds). “Diane singlehandedly solicited sponsorships for the Garden Club’s planters and sites, including determining the sponsorship cost of each site, writing letters, sending pictures of prior plantings, calling businesses and following up until the committed funds were received,” the club stated. “The Business Sponsorship Program is our third-largest fundraiser, and it was handled superbly by Diane.”
Joan Luciano, Ann Hussey Hogaboom and Ann Marie Rocheleau were awarded HGC lifetime membership status. Nominees for this honor must have rendered distinguished service to the club or exhibited outstanding unselfish achievements, or advanced the mission of the club through their participation in club committees or positions, and held an active membership for 20 years.
All three women have held officer positions for at least nine years, chaired many committees and have been members for 28, 27 and 22 years, respectively.
“I joined GC because I always loved gardening and all flowers, plus my two grandmothers and my mother were members of their local garden club,” Hogaboom stated. “I enjoy learning from our speakers and other members, and now that I am retired, I have more time to spend in my gardens.”
Noted Rocheleau: “I joined the Hopkinton Garden Club because I was new in town and didn’t know anything about gardening. I learned so much from the programs, but even more from my wonderful conversations with other members and strolls through their gardens.”
Leslie Chodnowsky and Diane McCauley are the newest certified master gardeners of the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (MMGA). In order to earn the certification, candidates must complete 45 hours of classes, including assigned weekly readings and homework, pass a midterm and final exam, and finish a 60-hour supervised internship.
“Becoming a master gardener was an extension in my lifelong interest in gardening,” Chodnowsky explained. “I so enjoy being with people [who] really get into gardening, as well as volunteering in gardens. The whole process was and is fun.”
Added McCauley: “One of my favorite volunteer opportunities as a master gardener is to work in community gardens supporting local food banks. Food insecurity exists more than we know. It’s rewarding to work towards helping families get healthy meals.”
Ruth Gorman, Jina Kessler and Joan Luciano, all certified Massachusetts master gardeners, attained recognition as certified principal Massachusetts master gardeners, having recently completed 300-plus hours of volunteer work for the MMGA.
Gorman began her master gardener experience out of state. “I received my accreditation in South Carolina and did some very interesting projects through Clemson University’s extension,” she said. “I collected and harvested seeds, learned to do enthusiastic pruning of roses, worked in the hydrangea gardens, and was a docent at an early-1700s, small, rustic cabin typical of the upcountry middle class. It was a very fun experience.”
Of her volunteer activities, Gorman said: “I spend much of my weekly time at Medway Community Garden, where I have learned so much, and once or twice a month at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, which is one of my favorite places in Boston!”
Kessler described a very memorable master gardener volunteer experience: “I helped with spring cleanup at Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center in Harvard (healinggardensupport.org). The center is best known simply as The Healing Garden, which provides cancer patients with a place to go to that might help them take their mind off their treatments, and just being able to relax and enjoy nature around them. I pruned overgrown bushes and cleared leaves from a brook. There was a bench to sit upon, to listen to the quiet bubbling brook that was so peaceful! It felt wonderful to be able to contribute, to help these people feel good as they go through whatever treatment they were going through. I am thankful I was able to help someone else!”
Stated Luciano: “I wanted to become a master gardener because of the extended horticultural education and knowledge it provided. I especially enjoy outreach volunteering to the surrounding communities.”
Hopkinton Garden Club’s mission is to promote the teaching and advancement of gardening, horticulture and floral design; develop and encourage an interest and participation in the community’s beautification; and assist, promote and contribute to the community’s conservation efforts. For more information, visit hopkintongardenclub.org.