Our News

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What's Going on in 2023!

Nov. '23 - Booth at the Still 4 Corners Holiday Snack Shack:

For the second year in a row, we had a successful booth at the annual Still 4 Corners Holiday Snack Shack Thanksgiving weekend

Many thanks to members Brenda Waller, Cecelia Thurber, Chris Miller and Cornajlin O'Riordan for propagating a wide selection of indoor plants to be sold. We are so grateful to them and members Sara Root-Simone, Patti McKone and Nancy McBride for helping out at the booth. — PMAGC 11/27/23

View the photos here

Oct. '23 - The Pumpkin Patch PCS PTO Trunk or Treat:

For the second year in a row, we had a great time participating in the Paxton Center School PTO "Trunk or Treat" event (PTO fundraiser). Our "Pumpkin Patch" theme included a stiff competition among 9 PMAGC members. 

With over 560 kids and families voting the winning pumpkin was the Woodland Pumpkin Home made by Sara Root-Simone. Runner ups were The Nightmare Before Halloween by Jackie Boschetto and Bark or Treat by Michele Thorne. Thank you to those who donated candy, entered the pumpkin contest and came out to run our trunk, we cannot wait for next year! — PMAGC 10/24/23

View the photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/iBGE5HSvXKtsNcD18

Click here to view the photo album: PMAGC Blithewold Bus Trip

Sept. '23Bus Trip to Blithewold Garden Estate:

On Saturday, September 9th, 33 PMAGC members along with 21 non-members took a bus trip to visit the Blithewold Garden Estate & Mansion in Bristol RI. Despite the heat we had a wonderful time exploring the gardens and seeing the vision and legacy created by Bessie Van Wickle.  — PMAGC 9/14/23

July '23 —Select Board Meeting:

On Monday, July 11th members Sara Root-Simone, Robin Tasca and Roger McGaughey were invited to attend the July Select Board Meeting (mark 55:07 to 1:05) to be recognized for all the color that we've brought to the public spaces in town - Town Common, COA & Public Safety Complex. 

During our presentation we were able to thank some of our business sponsors who have helped make it happen (see our donors page) and officially inform the Select Board of our plans to provide even more improvements on the Common to make it a true park for all to enjoy. If you would like to support our efforts, please see our donation box located at Paxton Marketplace (aka "Carlos's"). 

The Garden Club is so thankful to the entire community and Paxton Select Board for its support as we cultivate gardens for all to enjoy. — PMAGC 7/11/23

June '23 —Paxton Days:

On Sat., June 17th we had a lovely day chatting with old friends and new at Paxton Days. Thanks to all the folks who renewed and started a new membership with us, purchased notecards and donated! — PMAGC 6/17/23

June '23 —PMAGC Visits the Paxton COA:

On Wed., June 7th, PMACG member Roger McGaughey was the featured guest speaker at the monthly Schoolhouse Café at the Paxton COA. Speaking to 28 folks, Roger discussed his tried and true methods for planning out garden beds, soil tips, watering tricks and even a planting demo in the new flower beds he created last fall. — PMAGC 6/11/23

Paxton Garden Club preps for plant sale

This article originally published in The Landmark on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

By Danielle Ray Landmark correspondent

PAXTON — Members of the Paxton Garden Club are buzzing about like busy bees getting ready for the group’s second annual plant sale, coming up on June 3.

This is the second plant sale organized by the relatively new club, which goes by the acronym PMAGC. They sold out of perennials within three hours at the first sale, held in June last year.

“It was great to see people in person who we had previously only recently chatted with on Facebook,” said club president Sara Root-Simone. “Folks came from everywhere in our community and dropped off interesting and varied plant donations that morning. We just didn’t know what to expect in that regard, so that was a welcome outcome. It was also a key success, in that it allowed us to become an established club and marks our club’s charter date.”

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Click here to view the photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Xv4XyTPCPzxDxfdk7

May. '23 —PMAGC Celebrates its First Year:

On Saturday, May 20th, 25+ garden club members gathered to celebrate the end of our first year at the Farm at SummitWynds in Jefferson (Holden), MA. 

Taking place in the Stone Barn, guests were greeted with a gorgeous assortment of floral arrangements from members Roger McGaughey and Ann McDougle's gardens.

The event began with a wonderful luncheon featuring seasonal salads from Red Roof Catering and farm made lavender shortbread and ice cream.

During the business portion of our annual meeting the Executive Board presented a draft of our FY22-23 annual report which highlights many of our "firsts" as well as sharing the goals for FY23-24. 

After adjourning the meeting, farm owner Amy Parker, gave us a brief overview of the farm before we ventured out into the rain for a private tour of the lavender fields, horse pastures, sheep pens, out buildings and more.  — PMAGC 5/20/23

May. '23 —PMAGC Selected as "Business Focus Client" at Country Bank:

Country Bank, Paxton branch selected the Paxton Garden Club as its "Business Focus Client" of the Month for May. This program gives Country Bank banking clients the ability to highlight their organization. — PMAGC 4/29/23

Apr. '23 —PMAGC Visits the Paxton Woman's Club:

On Thurs., April 13th,our very own Roger McGaughey was the featured guest speaker at the Paxton Woman's Club April Meeting. Speaking to 27 PWC members, Roger discussed his tried and true methods for planning out garden beds, soil tips and watering tricks.  — PMAGC 4/14/23

What Happened in 2022

Nov. '22 —Holiday Snack Shack:

Thanksgiving weekend PMAGC tried its hand at a craft fair at the Still 4 Corners Holiday Snack Shack. Over the course of 3 days, we sold our notecards, Baptista seeds (donated), and houseplants (donated). The money earned will go towards programming and a scholarship fund we will be creating in 2023 to hopefully award in 2024.

Special shoutouts to members Cecelia Thurber and Brenda Wallar for making it happen!  —  PMAGC 11/27/22

Oct. '22 - The Haunted Garden PCS PTO Trunk or Treat:

We had a great time participating in the Paxton Center School PTO "Trunk or Treat" event (PTO fundraiser). Our "Haunted Garden" was a huge success and we were visited by over 400 children. Thank you to those who donated candy and came out to run our trunk. 

View the photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/izbXQ42MWAPQDidi8  

Sept. '22 - Introducing the Official Logo of PMAGC:

In the Spring of 2022, PMAGC  commissioned club member and Massasoit Art Guild artist, Ann McDougle, to create our logo. Ann developed 3 beautiful designs that were then presented to the club in the form of a contest. Her "fence post" design featuring soft petals and climbing morning glories won by an overwhelming majority. 

Over the summer, Ann worked on refining the design (despite a knee injury) to create the final version in both color and black & white. The completed logo was presented to the club during our fall meeting on September 19, 2022, with a round of applause and awe. Thank you Ann for sharing your wonderful talent with us. —  PMAGC 9/19/22

Aug. '22 —PMAGC Visits the COA:

On Wed., August 3rd, PMAGC was invited to be the featured speaker at the monthly Paxton COA Schoolhouse Cafe. It was a great opportunity to let the local senior community know we have a garden club in Paxton. — PMAGC 8/4/22

May 2022  — Town Records Building From Neglect to Love:

The Records Building, built in 1899, has seen better days.  Yet, thanks to the efforts of Paxton Residents Brian Brosnihan (Cemetery Commission) and Gordon Snyder along with a little support from the Paxton DPW, they were able to give the Records Building some much needed TLC! This small but mighty crew of two removed all the brush & debris, re-stained the trim & door, spread a new application of pea stone, and applied a cobblestone edge. 

As they were nearing the completion, Brian came to PMAGC, to see if we could donate two ornamental planters that could be planted seasonally. We were happy to oblige, and thanks to funding from local landscapers Dolan Landscaping on Pleasant St. and M&A Property on Marshall St., we were able to purchase two urn style planters (very popular during the late 1800s) and fill them with gorgeous annuals donated by Howes Farm & Garden on Pleasant St.  PMAGC will change out the flowers seasonally so this little building can have color & beauty Spring through Fall.

 Future improvements for the Records Building include roof repairs, circular window replacement, and a new fence. Learn more about the Records Building's history and the project to bring the building back to life in the Landmark.

Special thank yous to:

Bill Casey & Ryan Gates for donating the cobblestone. Dolan Landscaping & M&A Property Maintenance for donating the funding for the planters.   Howes Farm & Garden for donating the flowers for the planters. Glenn Sullivan for donating the solar spotlights. Ten West for feeding the crew.  Paxton DPW for all the heavy lifting & Paxton Historical Commission  & Paxton Historic District Committee for supporting the project.  — PMAGC 5/15/22

April-May 2022  — Town Common Beautification Project:

Have you noticed all the activity on the Town Common recently? Thanks to a few dedicated residents the memorials — Civil War, WWI,  Korean/Vietnam  & Chief Mortell —  are getting flower gardens! These gardens will bring color and pollinators for all to enjoy.   Once the project is complete, the PMAGC will take over the maintenance of the gardens as a service project.  Stay tuned for more photos and to see the gardens come to life later this spring & summer.  See the Landmark Coverage.

Mid- May: The project is complete and ready to enjoy! This project would not have happened without Roger McGaughey asking if "a bit of color" could be applied to the Common.  Roger came up with the layout, and supplied all the plant material and countless hours of labor to create these beautiful gardens!  Read more in the Landmark (section "Common Work")

Special Thank Yous to: Roger McGaughey for donating all the plant material & doing all the planting/edging/pruning. Paxton DPW for providing the compost & shrub removal, Ten West Market (Darlene & Tom Walsh) for purchasing 2 hoses and Mass Landscaping & Snow donating the 3rd hose and watering can for the  PMAGC watering crew. As well as the Paxton Board of Selectman for supporting the project. — PMAGC 5/15/22

May 2022 - Garden Club takes root in Paxton

This article originally published in The Landmark on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

By Ken Cleveland Landmark correspondent

PAXTON — First, there was a Garden Club Facebook page, a virtual connection for Paxton gardeners.

That proved helpful, since Paxton has its own growing characteristics, and members shared tips.

It did not take long after the initial COVID shutdown for people to look at things they could do while staying home, and Sara Root-Simone, who had been involved in the previous garden club when it was active, started the online page in April 2020.

She and Robin Tasca had no idea where the effort would go.  

But with the fertilizer of opportunities to share ideas even as people could not get together, the Garden Club took root.

“I made my garden to get some energy out,” Tasca said, and offering plants to others became a thing. “A lot of people were trading plants, and people were connecting,” she said. Some of it was sharing photos, sharing inspiration for gardening.

Tasca said she also was inspired by an artist painting flowers.

“There was a lot of artistic work,” she said, including using plant material in the garden. That artist later allowed the group to use some of her photos and created the logo for the garden club.

“There was a lot of artistic work,” she said, including using plant material in the garden. That artist later allowed the group to use some of her photos and created the logo for the garden club.

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“A connection was made,” Root-Simone said, and members have even attended a class together to learn gardening tips, as well as to get to know each other, which may lead to regular meetings.

“Hopefully, it will create more awareness,” Tasca said. The group’s efforts will be visible June 4, when they plan a community plant sale on the town common. 

Other efforts like garden tours are also being planned. 

But as spring is here, for real, there will be plenty of digging, preparing and planting going on. The plant sale will give gardeners the chance to add to their gardens as well.

Club members will also take advantage of the opportunity to share some of their plants, dividing some, for instance, to sell to benefit the club’s programming and presentation, Root-Simone said.

A wide variety of people — and plants — may be involved in the pant sale, Tasca and Root-Simone said.

“It’s good to see Paxton doing more of this,” Root-Simone said, noting she had grown up in town. Tasca said future efforts could include groups such as the library and the Council on Aging.

Root-Simone stressed the benefits of using native plants in gardens, as they are “an important piece of the puzzle.”

And of the more than 100 people on the Facebook page, 40 or more are actively chatting, Tasca said, with 25 attending the group’s recent program at Bemis Farms Nursery in Spencer.

The club has also expressed interest in helping to maintain plantings on the town common.

Roger McGaughey has worked to reinvigorate the plantings at the memorials there, but club members are planning to help maintain them, handling things like watering, working with the DPW to get water access to the site. The plantings at the memorials will help make it a more welcoming place for people to visit and sit, McGaughey said, with plans for Scouts to work on benches. He’s planning pots next to the benches as well. “It’s good for people to get their hands in the dirt, good for the mind,” McGaughey said.

In addition to flowers, vegetables could be grown, and Root-Simone said they could be donated to the food pantry.

The two met through the Facebook effort, sharing a love of gardening.

Root-Simone teaches in the Rutland schools, and Tasca is a marketing veteran, with the two putting their skills and hobby to work to build the new garden club. 

Root-Simone’s background includes plenty of plants, from landscape work for her father’s company and teaching. She also has farm experience from her grandparents’ dairy farm and her own personal farm. She studied environmental policy at Clark University and learned more at Tower Hill, now New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, where the Worcester County Horticultural Society’s gardens can provide inspiration. 

Tasca summered with her grandmother in Western Massachusetts, where she was exposed to a “gorgeous flower garden.” Tasca helped weed and water, but over time, “I absorbed her expertise like a sponge.” Her grandmother’s interests and skills rubbed off on her children and Tasca, who has passed them to her daughter. “It all came from my grandmother,” she said.

There are plants from her grandmother whose descendants still grow in her garden, Tasca said. She occasionally divides those to continue and share their line, which she said has “real emotional attachments.”

Root-Simone also divides perennials and shares them so they can bloom again in other gardens. In addition to the Facebook page, the club has a website:  www.paxtongardenclub.com.

June 4 plant sale

The club has reached out to vendors who want to set up at the plant sale. For more information, email paxtongardenclub01612@gmail.com.

The sale is slated for June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. After that, they expect many of the plants to be headed into the gardens of residents who take advantage of the chance to add plants and watch their gardens bloom.