The Garden Club of Harvard was founded in 1927 by Mary P. Abbot. The idea of holding a plant sale was first mentioned at a board meeting in 1947.
The Feb. 16, 1955, board minutes read, “Plans for raising money were discussed and it was decided to have a plant sale in May during apple blossom time with Mrs. Grace Cummings in charge.”
There were 40 Garden Club members that year. A small selection of plants, mostly geraniums, was offered on the Harvard Common. There are no records from the 1955 sale; however, the 1957 sale brought in $78.25 and profits soared to $197.70 in 1959.
For years, the Garden Club called everyone in town to see who wanted to place a geranium order; there were many faithful followers. The plant sale grew steadily over the years, with members donating perennials from their gardens, and by 1970 slightly less than half the proceeds came from the sale of geraniums.
Now there are a few geraniums the day of the sale, but offerings also include a wide variety of other annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs. Proceeds from the sale support the Garden Club’s many local projects including civic landscaping and seasonal plantings in town, a weekly flower arrangement for the library, book donations to the library, and service programs such as garden therapy and floral arrangements for Bromfield’s graduation ceremony.
This year’s sale will be held rain or shine on Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to noon on the Harvard Common.