St. Mary's Garden Club is a talented and welcoming group of dedicated gardeners and flower arrangers. The club - founded over eighty-five years ago in 1934 - was once affiliated with The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary but that is no longer the case. However, the club is fortunate to meet on church property, host functions on site and maintain two gardens as required by club bylaws.

Saint Mary’s Garden Club is dedicated to education and volunteerism. Monthly meetings are held from September to June and the meetings feature guest speakers on various topics related to horticulture, flower arranging and all aspects of gardening. Workshops are held and talented members share their expertise and bring energy and enthusiasm to all we undertake.

Whether arranging flowers for the elderly, maintaining gardens at the Blue Star Memorial Marker in Falmouth, or fundraising for the local Falmouth library, the group is eager and operates with style, energy, and warmth. New members feel welcomed and inspired to be actively involved.

Mary’s Garden Club welcomes members of the public at many meetings and program events throughout the year. We encourage any and all who are interested to join us. Whether as a guest, or as a potential new member, you are welcome!

Lucy Ellis, President
11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church

Instant Flower Design Challenge

Start the garden club season off right by creating a floral arrangement with friends! Just bring a vase or container and some cut blooms from your garden—whatever is flowering at the time—to our first meeting of the year. Once everyone has arrived, members will be randomly assigned to groups. Each group will then choose a single container and create a floral design using the flowers each member brought with them. Teams will have 45-60 minutes to create their arrangements, which will be displayed on the tables during the meeting for everyone to enjoy (one person from each group will get to bring their arrangement home). No stress, no pressure, no judging—just some good, ol' fashioned fun working with your favorite garden club friends! Bonus: get your garden tools ready for spring! During the challenge David Orbiton of Wicket Sharp will be on hand to sharpen your knives, scissors and pruning tools. Prices range from $4-6, depending on the implement.

Hospitality: Margaret Curran, Diana Hibard, Alison Metsker, Jan Baker

9:00 am Field Trip, Viles Arboretum
153 Hospital St, Augusta

Get out and enjoy nature! Visit the Viles Arboretum, formerly known as the Pine Tree State Arboretum, in Augusta with your fellow garden club members this fall! This horticultural wonderland covers 224 acres and includes a botanical garden and arboretum with a number of tree variety specimens. Founded in 1981, the park opened with 120 planted trees. Certified as a Demonstration Tree Farm in 1991, the arboretum continues to add to its collection of plants and trees today. It is also home to the Hosta Collection, originally from the Arnold Arboretum, and offers extensive collections of lilacs, chestnuts, conifers, natives, rock garden plants and a collection curated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition, there are five miles of trails, which are open year-round and free-of-charge, to wander and enjoy the beauty of nature. Bonus: the 2nd Annual Sculpture Symposium will be open daily from 9am-4pm, September 25–October 4 with NO admission fee! This 10-day event will focus on 13 nationally known artists.

SEP 14
SEP 28

9:30 pm "What you need to know to enter a Flower Show"
presented by Marilyn Traiser, St. Mary's Church

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church
Public Welcome $5

"Gardening for the Future," presented by Justin Nichols

Where does your mulch come from? How do you water your landscape? Are you improving or diminishing your soil? We can leave a better planet for future generations through some basic choices we make in our land use. We'll be discussing the creation and maintenance of healthy, beautiful, landscapes that are low impact or, better yet, provide a net positive impact on the land and environment. We'll touch on commonly used terms such as organic, ecological gardening, integrated pest management, permaculture, low carbon landscapes, native plants, and invasive plants. We'll also cover some specific actions you can take on your own property to improve the short term health and long term benefits of your landscape. Justin Nichols has spent 25 years working in private, commercial, and public horticulture, most recently at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens from 2008 to 2014. He has a certificate in Landscape Horticulture from UMass, is a NOFA accredited organic land care professional, and holds a Maine master pesticide license. He has a Masters Degree in Education and enjoys teaching about gardening to people of all ages. He lives in Pownal with his wife Becca and two children, and gardens the Portland to Brunswick corridor.

Hospitality: Alora Carrier, Betty Lunt, Katy Gannon-Janelle, Lynne Shepherd

OCT 19

OCT 19

10:00 am Board Meeting
Guild Room, St. Mary's Church

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church

"Growing Fruit Trees with Dr. Renae Moran of Highmoor Farm"
Public Welcome - $5

Join Dr. Renae Moran for a talk on growing and caring for fruit trees. Dr. Moran is a fruit tree specialist at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth Maine for the Maine Cooperative Extension. The farm was originally built in 1880 by James Roscoe Day as a summer home with 5,000 apple trees. Today the university uses the farm as an experiment station for fruit trees and other plantings. Several new varieties of fruit have also been developed at Highmoor, including the juicy, sweet Brock apple. In this program Dr. Moran will discuss different types of fruit trees, current cultural practices, pest management strategies, pollination and the importance of pruning trees to improve their appearance as well as their ability to bear fruit. Dr. Moran joined the University of Maine faculty in 2000 and is now an Associate Professor of Pomology. Her current research compares fruit yields, quality, flavor, cold tolerances, etc. and focuses on: environmental and genotypic variation in cold hardiness of apple trees; new plum varieties for a local markets; optimizing storage of Honeycrisp and other apple varieties; and using rootstocks to increase apple tree yield and survival.

Hospitality: Linda Grant, Kelly Orzel, Aurelia Scott, Jan Wentling

NOV 16

9:30 am Workshop
St. Mary's Church

"Handheld Designs in a Coffee Cup Container"

Carolyn Davis will lead us in this workshop with designs to be displayed as centerpieces at our Holiday Reception.

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church

"Floral Conditioning"
Our very own Marilyn Traiser will be speaking to the importance of conditioning our flowers as we arrange them. She feels that next to the mechanics of arranging, condition is critical. Join us as she shares her expertise in this important topic.

12:00 pm Holiday Gathering and Reception with Silver Service
St. Mary's Church

We’ll follow our program on floral conditioning with our traditional celebration: sweets and savories served in high style! Keep the spirit of giving going by bringing along some non-perishable food and/or other essentials for the Falmouth Food Pantry.

Hospitality: Layne Gregory, Val Babcock, Judy Miskell, Jamie Morin, Ellen Thayer, Vail Traina

DEC 14
DEC 14
DEC 14

10:00 am Board Meeting
Guild Room, St. Mary's Church

10:00 am Floral Design Lecture
Teen Room downstairs, St. Mary's Church

Bring your coffee and donuts and come watch an Ikebana video guaranteed to brighten our dark winter days.

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church

Seed Starting with Kyle Fletcher Baker of Plainview Farms
Public Welcome - $5

Get your seedlings started off on the right leaf with tips from Kyle Fletcher Baker of Plainview Farm. With over 20 years of experience as a grower under his belt, Kyle will share how he starts his annual and perennial seeds, as well as his thoughts on plugs, division and cuttings. As a Maine Certified Nurseryman (MCN) and member of MELNA (Maine Landscape and Nursery Association), Kyle is knowledgeable in crop organization, production and insect management. This program will knock the dirt right off your boots!

Hospitality: Mollie Mason, Susan McCracken, Lynne Werner, Betty Yancey

JAN 11
JAN 11
11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church
"The 21st Centrury Flower Garden," presented by CL Fornari
Public Welcome - $10

The 21st Century Flower Garden is more than a bed of pretty flowers. These plants have a purpose! Random acts of kindness, privacy screening, celebrations, and attracting addition to providing us with colorful blooms. Find out about changes in flower garden design and planting options, and how you might want to shake things up in your 21st century landscape. C.L. Fornari is the author six books including Coffee for Roses, a book about common garden myths. Soon to be released from St. Lynn’s Press is C.L.’s new book, The Cocktail Hour Garden. She hosts live radio programs on WXTK and WRKO every Saturday and speaks to a wide range of audiences. Her website can be found at and she grows perennials and all manner of other plants at Poison Ivy Acres on Cape Cod.

Hospitality: Jessica LaPlante, Norma Jean Brilliant, Susan Parrish Carter, Willie Sawyer

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church
"Floral Arrangements" with Susan Betz
Public Welcome - $5

With our second flower show fast approaching, you won't want to miss out on a demonstration with Susan Betz, florist and owner of Bouquet of Blooms in Cape Elizabeth. Keeping with our theme of weddings and brides for the flower show, Susan with discuss how she constructs some of her elegant bridal bouquets and arrangements including vase set up, taping and greening a vase and flower choice. Susan will then create two arrangements: an English Garden Basket and a low-profile coffee table arrangement. She will also show how to transform a simple coffee table arrangement into an exquisite, stylized creation in 3 easy steps..

Hospitality: Christy Altman, Elaine Elliott, Beth Rovnak


10:00 am Board Meeting
St. Mary's Church

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church
Glendarragh Lavender Farm
Public Welcome - $5

Join Lori from Glendarragh Lavender Farm as she talks about the history and joy of growing and working with lavender. Glendarragh Farm Lavender is a fragrant mix of more than a dozen lavender varieties, growing on a 26-acre farm along the St. George River in Appleton, Maine. Glendarragh Farm’s south-facing, rolling fields are a perfect match for English lavender and tenacious lavandins. In all there are more than 30 types of English lavender (lavandula angustifolia), seven of which were grown by Glendarragh in 2008. The angustifolias are hardy to Zone 5 and are prized for the scent of foliage, flowers and, most important, oil. Their commitment to natural products is an extension of their farming philosophy. They hand tend the fields and fertilize only with organic manure and limestone. They never use synthetic fertilizers, nor do they use harmful pesticides. The result is sweetly fragrant, colorful lavender you can feel good about placing in a pillow or sachet at your bedside, or in bath salts crafted by hand at Glendarragh. Enjoy the website Or visit during the farm at the Open Houses during harvest time - usually July.

Stroudwater District Annual Meeting
9:30 am Floral Design Workshop
St. Mary's Church

Three Master Judges will teach us to design exhibition tables. This will be one of the classes in our upcoming Flower Show. Bring items appropriate for this class. (See Spring Newsletter for date and description)

APR 11
APR 11
APR 13

11:00 am Meeting
St. Mary's Church

Floral Design with Sandy Blank Leonard
Public Welcome - $5

Want more Ikebana? You asked for it and you got it! Come and learn about the art of Japanese Floral Design from Sandy Blank Leonard. There are many ways to create and interpret floral designs, but ikebana aims to create links between the indoors and outdoors, suggesting the whole of nature. As a Master Flower Show Judge Sandy will share the principals of this ancient flower arranging practice as well as how to maximize your floral arrangement scores for an upcoming flower show (hint hint!).

Hospitality: Marilyn Traiser, Alison Hayward, Kelly Ianno, Julie Pew

8:00 am Field Trip
Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Rd
Framingham MA

Take a field trip with friends to Garden in the Woods, a 45-acre woodland botanical garden and the New England Wild Flower Society headquarters. We will leave at 8:00 a.m. for a 10 a.m. guided tour. The Garden in the Woods was founded in 1931, when Will C. Curtis purchased 30 acres in north Framingham and began creating a botanical garden on the site. When Curtis died in 1965, the land and gardens were deeded to the New England Wild Flower Society. The Garden is the largest landscaped collection of wildflowers in New England, containing over 1,700 kinds of plants representing about 1,000 species, including over 200 rare and endangered native species, all nestled within a mature oak forest on glacial terrain of rolling hills, ponds, and streams that provide a variety of microhabitats. The Garden in the Woods also contains the largest retail native plant nursery in New England so remember to bring some extra cash! Afterwards, we'll eat lunch at a local restaurant and catch up before the trip home.

9:00 - 12:00 pm Plant Sale Set-up
9:00 - 12:00 pm Plant Sale
MAY 16
MAY 20
MAY 21

Standard Flower Show Preview Party
St. Mary's Church

A preview party to be enjoyed by club members and their families will be held in the evening of June 3 in the Parish Hall of St. Mary's Church.

Standard Flower Show
"Say I Do," A Tribute to June Brides
St. Mary's Church

The Club will present a Standard Flower Show entitled "Say I Do," A Tribute to June Brides in the Parish Hall auditorium and Chapel of St. Mary's Church. The show will be judged on June 3 and open to the public on June 4. The list of classes and other information will be published in the spring newsletter and discussed in spring club meetings.

11:00 am Annual Meeting
Harraseeket Inn
162 Main St, Freeport

This year's annual meeting will be held at the Harraseeket Inn, on Main Street in Freeport. We'll begin our meeting at 11:00 a.m. with a guided tour of the gardens by Michael Silva, head gardener and in-house floral designer at the inn. We will then enjoy a noon luncheon in the Maine Harvest Dining Room overlooking the gardens and feast on a "Real Maine Lunch" with our annual meeting to follow. What a wonderful way to end our 86th year!

10:00 am Board Meeting
St. Mary's Church

GCFM Annual Convention
The Colony Hotel
Kennebunkport, ME

Garden Gaze
Informally tour the gardens of other members. Putting one's garden on the "tour" is entirely voluntary and the volunteers do not have to be at home. This is a one-time-per-summer event that rotates among the summer months.
JUN 13
JUN 14
JUN 15-16
JUN 20


Meetings are held the second Monday of the month, September through June, in the auditorium of Saint Mary's Parish House. (While Saint Mary's Church has provided the club with meeting space throughout the years, the club is not affiliated with the church.) Members are asked to be in attendance at a majority of meetings during the year, to help beautify and maintain designated garden areas, and to assist with fundraising projects. Currently the Club has a Spring Plant Sale. The Club has minimal dues.

Membership meetings include a time for socializing, a short business meeting, and an educational program and/or participatory workshop. There usually is a brief discussion of an environmental concern, horticultural topics, flower arranging and/or gardening tips.

Interested in joining? Contact a member of the club via email at


Organized in June 1930, Saint Mary's Garden Club was a charter member of the Garden Club Federation of Maine, Inc. Through the years, the Club's objectives have been to promote garden fellowship and to cultivate a spirit of good gardening in the community. Club members share a strong interest in gardening, environmental awareness, floral design, and in educating others in these areas whenever possible.

St. Mary's Coffee Sale Group

Involvement throughout the past eighty-plus years has included advocating at the Maine legislature to prevent billboard signs on Maine highways, landscaping at many civic sites in local towns and Portland, aiding in purchasing land for conservation and participating in "Keep Maine Beautiful," a part of the Keep America Beautiful project.

Donations over the years have been provided to libraries, botanical projects, the McLaughlin Garden, Friends of Casco Bay, Friends of the Royal River and the Morrison Center. Recent scholarships have been provided to Southern Maine Community College, Portland Arts & Science High School, the University of Maine, and Mast Landing Camp.

St. Mary's Coffee Sale Group, 1946 (left to right): Mrs. GUIDO J. Arzonico, Mrs. F. Margaret Burnham, mrs. l.m. thorndike, mrs. fred b. webster, mrs. richard e. pettingill, mrs. rolland e. irish and mrs. richard p. knight.

Community Outreach

Proceeds from St. Mary's Garden Club's Great Gardener Series and Spring Plant Sale are used to fund a yearly scholarship to a horticulture student at Southern Maine Community College, and for donations to local nonprofits, including the Portland Housing Authority for Seniors and the Disabled for individual gardens, The Morrison Center, The McLaughlin Garden Foundation and Wolfe's Neck Farm Teen Ag Program. In 2013, an additional scholarship was added for an Armed Services veteran to attend the Master Gardener program.

In 2015 a one-time pollinator grant was awarded to the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension Service for Cumberland County.

The club also designed and provided the funds to plant the landscape for the Freeport Habitat for Humanity's eight unit residential community.


National Garden Club, Inc. (NGC)
Garden Club Federation of Maine, Inc. (GCFM)
Stroudwater District

2015 Great Gardener Series Champions

Gnome Landscaping

Portside Real Estate Group

Residential Mortgage Services

2015 Great Gardener Series Benefactors

Broadway Gardens

Couleur Collection


The Flower Box

Lucas Tree Service

Maine Line Fence

Mainely Tubs


University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardeners

2015 Great Gardener Series Supporters



Gannon-Janelle Interiors

Maine Turf and Landscaping


Kelly Orzel

Kerry Mendez

Bill Cullina

Amy Ziffer

Charlie Nardozzi

Upcoming Events

2016 Flower Show Schedule

St. Mary's Church
43 Foreside Rd.
Falmouth, ME 04105