Programs & Activities
Members of the Longfellow Garden Club enjoy a wide range of informational programs and activities designed to extend their knowledge as gardeners and as advocates for a healthy environment. Opportunities for sharing gardening interests and expertise, and the camaraderie arising from the shared experiences with a group of gardening enthusiasts contribute significantly to the vitality of the Longfellow Garden Club.
In August 2019 members of the garden club met with Alex Donka, head gardener at Ft. Williams to learn about the Children’s Garden. While overcast, it ended up a perfect morning to walk through the gardens, learn about the vast array of plantings and get tips on favorite gardening tools. Several members stayed to enjoy the view further with lunch at the Bite Into Maine food truck….nothing like delicious lobster rolls to finish off the morning!
From September to May, our meetings include presentations on a wide variety of horticultural and environmental topics such as “Wow Plants for Maine Gardens,” “Preparing for Sea Level Rise,” “Agrability” and “Fashion in the Raw,” as well as creative floral design demonstrations. Our December program features a holiday greens workshop and chili and chowder luncheon. Please check our Events page for details.
Members split into groups to create floral arrangements based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poems to celebrate his birthday in February:
Poems included The Village Blacksmith, The Reaper and the Flowers, Flowers and The Rainy Day.
In the summer and fall, we enjoy the many local garden tours as well as visits to local growers such as Hutchins House Ornamental Grasses, and trips to such landmark gardens as the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor or Bedrock Gardens in nearby Lee, NH.
Volunteer Work and Outreach
Longfellow Garden Club members volunteer their time and talent to maintain Portland’s Longfellow Garden and Longfellow Arboretum. We provided small plants to Meals on Wheels clients, and have supported Project Feed with donations of food and household supplies. Through our partnerships with Maine Audubon and Portland High School’s PATHS program, we have provided grants and scholarships for elementary and secondary school students.
Out and About in the Community
In 2018, we participated in the Portland Museum of Art’s “Art in Bloom” by creating a floral design inspired by Dale Chihuly’s blown glass sculpture Rose Mist Seaform. It was challenging but great fun and we hope we’ll be invited to participate again.
And did you see us on TV? We’ve joined the long list of celebrities featured in the iconic Reny’s commercial singing “Reny’s A Maine Adventure!” Check us out on Vimeo!
Plant, Pie and Decorative Garden Accessories Sale
This is our major fundraiser, held each May in the parking lot of Woodford’s Congregational Church in Portland. Plants come from members’ gardens as well as from the Longfellow Garden, and are for sale at very reasonable prices. Hardy geraniums in a variety of colors are available for pre-order as well as for purchase at the Sale. A carefully curated selection of new and gently used garden accessories are also popular items. And we have pies, pies, and more pies: apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, pecan and more!