Founded in 1955, The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley was created to generate interest in the science and art of gardening and to stimulate the promotion of civic beauty through horticulture and conservation. The club’s main civic project is the preservation and maintenance of Elm Park/Clock Tower Park located at 301 Washington St. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places. The club members have spent summers weeding the beds, helping with fall clean-up as well as annually planting the tulip and daffodil bulbs we are currently enjoying.
Through many fundraising projects over the years, the club has periodically contributed to a number of significant landscape projects. The club has replaced the park’s elm trees, added shrubs and created a brick-paved seating area. The club's 2015 Garden Tour raised enough funds for yet another significant project. Working with the Town of Wellesley and Landscape Planner Cricket Vlaas, the fall of 2019 saw the installation and completion of the labyrinth located at the west end of the park. This is already being enjoyed by many of all ages.
The club is looking forward to future collaborations with the town of Wellesley to ensure the enjoyment of Elm Park/Clock Tower Park by the whole community and beyond for generations to come.
Founded in 1955 and now in its 64th year, The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley was created to generate community interest in the art and science of gardening and to stimulate the promotion of civic beauty through horticulture and conservation.
The Club’s main civic project is the preservation and maintenance of Elm Park/Clock Tower Park located at 301 Washington St. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Club members spend summers weeding the beds and helping with fall clean-up. In addition to this, in the fall members plant Tulip and Daffodil bulbs that provide a beautiful display of welcomed color when they bloom in the spring.
Recently, in collaboration with the Town of Wellesley and Landscape Planner Cricket Vlaas, The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley contributed to the installation of a beautiful labyrinth in the fall of 2018. Fundraising efforts by the HGCW made this gift possible to the Town of Wellesley. Located at the west end of the park, this newly installed interactive labyrinth is a tranquil and contemplative addition to the park and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
And speaking of fall, the Club is happy to share some basic gardening suggestions that apply to the novice gardener as well as the professional:
Anyone interested in learning more about our Club or becoming a member is welcome to email The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of our energetic board and enthusiastic members, with special contribution by Cynthia Ballantyne,
Myralee Wilson, Club President 2018 to present
In the Beginning... A short essay on the founding of the club
"All good books start with the words 'In the beginning...' There were seven good friends who were learning to braid rugs. The conversation led to gardens and garden clubs and we all expressed the wish that we would like to join a garden club. As the Garden Club of Wellesley was quite full, Catharine Babcock, one of the group and a former President of the Garden Club suggested that we start our own club. After due conversation the day was set to meet in Peggy Bach's garden and each bring a friend who we knew would be interested.
On a beautiful June day, it was June 10, 1955, we gathered to make plans. Peggy left for a few minutes to fix coffee. Before she returned we had elected her President. Then each in turn decided which office she would assume. After that important decision was accomplished, we had a board.
Naturally, we must name our new club and we decided upon "The Wellesley Hills Garden Club." That did not last long as the Wellesley Garden Club complained, so we changed to "The Hills Garden Club of Wellesley.” We all realized that we must have an objective and a project. We must all have a garden, be interested in horticulture and beautification. Therefore we thought of the Clock Tower, as Elm Park was known to us. Later we weeded and we worked as we never did at home!
We were organized and realized that we should be Federated. We met summer and winter in order to have the required number of meetings and we were accepted by the Federation in September, 1956.
In 1957-58 we had grown to 30 members, 10 on the waiting list and 10 more on the waiting list for the waiting list. Dues were $5. From small beginnings large things may grow!"
From a letter to member Minda Bradley from her grandmother, Mrs. Betty Haynes.
President: Myralee Wilson
Vice President: MaryJo McGee
Recording Secretary: Sally Miller
Corresponding Secretary: Judy White
Treasurer: Mary Winters
Civic Improvement: Cynthia Ballantyne, Lucy Lynch
Community Service: Becky Ivey, Mary Jo McGee
Hospitality: Cynthia Coddington, Carolyn Harthun, Becky Ivey
Membership: Meribeth Harrington
Programs: Francesca Sinnott, Cathy Toran, Deb Robi
Ways and Means: Donna Fessler
Workshops: Stephanie Chlan, Donna Gibson, Linda Somerville, Connie Walkingshaw
Associate Representatives: Karin Cody, Marcia Gorgone,
Publicity: Deb Robi
Nominating Past President: Meribeth Harrington