The Nauset Garden Club was founded in 1984 with twenty charter members. Justine Peterson, one of our founders, believed the club should be open to all residents of Cape Cod. Inspired by the fact that our local Nauset Indians were gardeners who knew how to preserve their land, the club’s founders pledged to do the same. To remind ourselves of this heritage, club members recite the founders’ pledge at the commencement of every monthly meeting:
“The Nausets planted and gardened – the keepers of this fragile land. They respected life all around them and were thankful for the gifts in the sand. We hope to continue this heritage – and take nothing for granted with this land. We pledge to preserve if we’re able – this air, water, beauty so grand.”
The first meeting of the club took place with just four members present, but by May 1985, there were sixty members. Until 2008, the club met at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which played a significant role in its history. In exchange for the use of a meeting room the club decorated the museum at Christmas, provided year-round flowers for the Museum’s library, and most importantly, established the Lyn Peabody Wildflower Garden on its grounds. Although the club now meets at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Monument Road in Orleans, its commitment to the Wildflower Garden and the Museum has continued.
We are a member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts and enjoy filling their many requirements in all areas of horticulture, landscape, floral design, gardening and the environment. Periodically we must stage a Standard Flower Show, which shows off the design skills of our members as well as our horticultural accomplishments. We sharpen our skills with a floral design competition and a horticultural competition at our monthly meetings. Members’ entries are judged and awarded points which accumulate throughout the year. Our monthly meetings also feature speakers, typically professionals who bring a wide variety of subjects to share with our members.
The club’s objectives today remain much as they were in the beginning: to expand our knowledge and learn from each other, to share a love of gardening and floral design, and to preserve Cape Cod, this beautiful, fragile piece of land.