Here's What's Happening...


The numbers are still being verified, but preliminary numbers indicate we’ve had a record breaking Sale! So far we’ve raised $7,966.25. Thank you, Members, for your contribution to the Plant Sale. Thank you, shoppers,  especially those who lined up before 9:00AM to be the first to shop the Sale. And thank you, donors, who contributed generously to help make this Sale a success:

Acer Gardens, DeFrancesco Farm, Grove Gardens, Madison Earth Care, Madison Garden Shop, Melillo’s Greenhouse, Natureworks, Running Brook Farm, Shoreline Garden Center, Smithland Pet & Garden Center, Stop & Shop, Vaiuso Farms, Van Wilgen’s Garden Center, and Village Green.

PLANT SALE - MAY 18th, 2024, 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM

Our Annual Plant Sale will be Saturday, May 18th, 2024, at the Deacon John Grave House from 9 am -1 pm. All members (especially New and Provisional members) are expected to help with the Sale. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds support our Civic Gardens. Plus it’s a lot of fun and a great way to connect with members and fellow gardeners!

Members, mark your calendars for the week of the event (May 14th through 17th), as well as for the Sale date. Your help before and during the sale is essential to making the event a success. Note the times for which you volunteered by clicking on the button below as we are not able to call everyone to remind them of their commitments. 

As a reminder, each member is expected to donate a minimum of  from your garden. If you are not able to donate plants, we ask that you donate potted herbs or flowering annual plants in medium sized pots of 4” or more. If you are not able to donate plants, a cash donation of $30 is another option. Cash or check payable to
the Garden Club of Madison can be mailed to Denise Rose, PO Box 29, Madison, CT 06443. Please write “Plant Sale” on the memo line of the check.

Drop off plants at the Barn behind the Deacon John Grave House on Tuesday, May 14th or Wednesday, May 15th, between 9 am-11 am.


Ann Nyberg of WTNH interviews Philippa Mannino and Elinor Griffith. Nyberg shared black and white photography, handwritten notes, newspaper articles, and other original documentation pertaining to the Club’s 100 year history in Madison.


On Friday, April 26th, 2024, the Garden Club of Madison celebrated it’s centennial year with a festive cocktail party at the Madison Beach Hotel. Members were greeted with “A Century of Community” poster featuring a collage of member photos and “The Bees Knees” signature drink. Our Co-Presidents, Pam Gallagher and Philippa Mannino, gave a warm welcome to special guests who have given great support to our Club:  

Peggy Lyons, First Select Woman
Karin Pyskaty, FGCCT President
Holly Johnson, granddaughter of Dr. Harry Johnson, GCM’s main benefactor
John Bysko, Financial Advisor
Charlie Islin, Arborist
Todd Vetter, Pastor, First Congregation Church
Henry Griggs, Town Historian
Lisa Lelas, journalist, Madison Neighbor
Pem McNerney, The Source



The Garden Club of Madison is celebrating its centennial year and Madison Neighbors featured the Club on the cover of their May 2024 issue. What a lovely cover!



Click on the carousel of images to the right to view titles, designers, and write-ups for the four vignettes displayed at the April 9th Tri-Club meeting. The theme for the vignettes for the 100th Anniversary was gardening in the past, present, and future.



The Garden Club is supporting the project of developing bee hives in Bauer Park to increase pollination by honey bees, which are responsible for the pollination and growth of one-third of the world’s fruits, vegetables, chocolate, coffee, nuts and spices. Beekeepers Lewis Strauss and Deirdre Prisco have developed two hives that each contain 12,500 honey bees near the community gardens in Bauer Park. We appreciate their vigorous efforts to restore pollination, and teach about the benefits of bees. Hope you will BEE there at Bauer.

A National Garden Club certificate of merit  was awarded to our Club for the Bees at Bauer project. This is the first time our Club has been recognized by National Garden Clubs, Inc.



New Club member Tom Cleveland spearheaded the planting of 22 heritage apple and pear trees at Bauer Park over the last couple of years. The trees were donated by Mad4Trees, as part of its outreach to add at least 200 native trees to Madison by the town’s 200th anniversary by 2026. In April 2023, a dozen volunteers planted the trees, which are historic trees-the Roxbury Russet apple developed in 1600, and the Exposus Spitzenburg was a favorite  in the early 1800s. Be sure to visit Bauer and look for the new trees and their custom tags – they make for fascinating reading. There are 6 heirloom pears along Copse Road; the apples line the Farm’s dirt road and are at the end in the New Orchard. An additional 6 apple trees were added in April 2024 on the hillside over the dirt track opposite the farm house.



The 9/11 and James Madison Gardens were redesigned in 2023 as a texture and tapestry garden with plants suitable for on a shady site. The defining challenge of deep shade governs this garden as the overhead canopy grows larger and tree roots rob moisture from the soil. Garden Club members duties include scheduled watering and weeding the maple seedlings so prevalent. Plant material will be evaluated and adjusted in the future. Ground cover vinca minor will fill in, while spring bulbs will give a vibrant burst of color.



Delighted by the fabulous display of 2,000 daffodils blooming in 2021’s  spring, the Club planted another 2,000 bulbs that bloomed in 2022’s spring. Thrilled with the beautiful flowers, we’d planted another 1,000 bulbs last fall! Bulbs have been added to plantings at Deacon John Grave, East Wharf, Bauer Park, the Allis Bushnell House, Veterans’ Garden, Pollinator Pathway garden and the Post Office, and several new locations–the Senior Center, and a walkway alongside the Walker Loden shop!  To see daffodils, click here.



The Club has provided Garden Therapy for over 55 years. Recently we joined forces with Meals on Wheels to deliver seasonal flower arrangements alongside their meals.


While the pandemic postponed indoor gatherings, the Club held wonderfully educational and entertaining meetings on Zoom, planted beautiful bulbs throughout town, and welcomed new members who look forward to participating in the club’s many projects and activities. Spring, summer and fall events were  scheduled, and we’ve been delighted to get together and garden again!


With the warm, sunny weather, our gardens grew wonderfully! Last spring and summer, volunteer members took the opportunity to water, weed, prune, and share the joy of gardening at five gorgeous town gardens. Located at various historic sites and parks, these gardens have been designed, developed, and maintained by members in support of the Club’s ongoing civic beautification projects. (Pictured: Deacon John Grave House, Perennial Garden For more information and plant lists, click here.


From spring through the month of August, members will have the opportunity to enjoy “Open Gardens,” a club initiative in which members and Madison residents open their private gardens for viewing. 


New Projects


Successfully accomplished in time for the Memorial Day Ceremony, the Veterans’ Memorial Garden has been renewed with shrubs and perennials in calming green and white tones that will complement the monuments and provide interest in all four seasons. The newly designed plantings will honor our town’s Veterans, and be enjoyed by visitors who come to the Madison Town Green.


Our Club supports the Madison Pollinator Pathway Project, which is developing an educational native plant garden at the E.C. Scranton Library. The new garden will create a pollinator-friendly habitat that will encourage bees, butterflies and other pollinators to sustain our environment and support food plants. 

The Madison Pollinator Pathway Project works to preserve, protect and develop pollinator habitats throughout town. By joining the Pollinator Pathway Project, residents can help extend connections from their properties to land-trust sites, town and state gardens, and other private properties. For more information:



Club members attended the Bauer Park Fall Festival on October 15, giving away 350 daffodil bulbs (five per bag with planting instructions) in the first 90 minutes! Thirty bulbs were donated to the Greenway Trail and twenty to Rettich Preserve.  

In addition to informing our “Madison’s Going Daffodils” project, we also spoke about extending the Bauer Apple Orchard and working with Tom Cleveland to plant heritage varieties of pears and apples. A number of people volunteered to help with this project. Our friendly keepers of the Bees at Bauer, Deidre Prisco (now a GCM member) and Lewis Strauss were with us.  Their open hive demonstrations were very popular, and Honey from the Hives was available for purchase with the money going to Bauer Park.