Calvert Garden Club members donate a lot of time on the various community service projects that the Club sponsors. Some projects go on for many years, some have even been ongoing since the inception of the Club, and some are of shorter duration. The project list is updated annually or as new projects are approved. The list below reflects the current set of active projects.
Art Blooms at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
The phrase Art In Bloom has been in use since the mid-1970s as the title of various exhibits held annually in art museums where garden Club members and other floral designers interpret visual art pieces with flower arrangements.
Calvert Garden Club started to sponsor an Art Blooms event at Annmarie Gardens starting in 2009. Over a weekend during July, the art pieces and the corresponding floral designs are on display. The CGC. Project committee works with Annmarie to recruits floral designers, select the art pieces to be interpreted and oversees the installation and removal of designs.
Books Bloom at Calvert Libraries
Using Art Blooms as an example, the Book Blooms committee works with the Calvert County Libraries to select a theme, recruit floral designers and put on display designs inspired by books. The event usually takes place in early in March. We usually also offer a floral design workshop for the public, conducted by some of our Club’s most experienced designers during the event.
Blue Star Memorial
The Memorial is located at the entrance to Solomon’s Island and is an initiative of the National Garden Clubs. CGC project members maintain the plantings around the memorial.
The Landscapes & Community Outreach Committee of Calvert Garden Club maintains gardens at several historic sites in Calvert County:
Boyd King Park and Phillip House Gardens are on Church Street, the pollinator beds at the public park were planted and designed by the Calvert Garden Club in 2018. The Phillip House is within the park. Calvert Garden Club members maintain the beds at the park with the County’s help and provide advice and hands-on assistance with restoration and maintenance of the small garden in front of the historic Phillips House.
For the garden and grounds at Linden,(home of the Calvert Historical Society), the club established a public flower garden and an evergreen grove honoring past Calvert Garden Club presidents on the grounds at Linden. The Committee coordinates work days to maintain the garden, refurbish the plantings and monitor the irrigation system provided by the Garden Club.
A long-standing tradition of the Calvert Garden Club is the Greening of the Courthouse Square for the Christmas Holidays. We have in recent years added the gardens we maintain that are along the surrounding streets and provide decorations including beautiful wreaths, swags, roping, and Della Robbia to beautify the County Courthouse, Linden and Boyd King Park for the seasonal enjoyment of all county residents and visitors. Members cut the fresh greens from their gardens and all members of the Club participate in making the decorations. We coordinate with the County workers and receive their assistance in transporting and affixing the decorations.
Hospice Festival of Wreaths
The Burnett Calvert Hospice House, known as “the house that love built,” began accepting patients in January of 2010. Since its inception, the Calvert Garden Club and its members have supported the hospice in several ways. Among them, is providing the Hospice with a decorated faux wreath for the annual Festival of Wreaths fundraiser held in November. Our members help register, design, obtain materials, create and coordinate delivery of the wreath with festival organizers.
Hospice Flowers and Planter Boxes
Our members create and deliver floral arrangements to patients at Hospice House each month and decorate seven deck railing planter boxes. Committee members coordinate assembly and delivery of floral arrangements and design, purchase, plant and maintain the planter boxes throughout the year.
Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
The Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage was formed in 1930 as a committee of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland. Now a separate corporation (MHGP), its primary purpose was then and continues to be the preservation and restoration of architecturally and historically significant properties in the State of Maryland. The Pilgrimage has raised and distributed well over one million dollars since it started. The Calvert Garden Club participates in this special event approximately every three years, rotating participation with the other Southern Maryland Counties (Charles and St. Mary’s). The Pilgrimage is a very special event for the Club since the founding of the Club is said to be the result of the participation of its original members in a Pilgrimage event. This special event raises money for a selected charitable organization. We work with the State MHGP organization to fulfill all necessary information for tour publicity and funding, coordinate the selection of houses and sites, provide hosts at each site, decorate houses, and provide publicity.
The Annual Plant Sale is the Club’s main fundraising activity, and it provides the means of funding all the community outreach activities of the Club. It takes place on the last Saturday of April. Members provide the plants for free from their gardens. Their contributions are augmented by plants from wholesalers or other nurseries that provide the Club with special pricing. It is a morning of fun activities and information exchange. Knowledgeable members and master gardeners circulate to provide the public with information about the plants. Raffles help raise additional money. Baked goods provided by members add to the festive ambiance.
The Calvert Nursing Center provides long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, memory support, as well as respite and palliative care to the Calvert County community. Members of the Calvert Garden Club volunteer to meet every month throughout the year with the residents of the Calvert Nursing Center in Prince Frederick. It is a commitment that brings much pleasure to the residents of the facility. Almost every club member gets involved from time to time. We select a theme for each session according to the month of the year and supply basic materials for the designs. We provide the materials and flowers for making individual arrangements for the participants and rely on club members to bring what they can – fresh flowers, greens, herbs even silks.
Our largest event is at Christmas time when we help the residents make and decorate miniature boxwood trees. We usually have as many members helping as we do residents participating. The finished results are placed in residents’ rooms and various stations throughout the Center.
Mini-Grants and Donations
Each year starting in November, the Calvert Garden Club accepts applications from non-profit organizations located in Calvert County, that support environmentally beneficial projects and promote the appreciation of the benefits of gardening. The primary source of the funds used in our Mini-Grants is the funds raised during our annual Plant Sale. Grants in the range of $100- $1000 are made available. Since the beginning of this program in 2014, we have provided over $10,000 in grants and donations.
The Calvert Garden Club sponsors several activities in support of Young Gardeners. These include a program for fourth graders at The Calverton School, an independent school in Huntingtown, MD where students participate in a variety of activities; such as planting pansies in individual plastic buckets; creating photo frames with dried flowers, shells, and other natural material; using crayons, fall leaves, wax paper, and an iron to produce faux stained glass, and design holiday wreaths with live greens in December. We sponsor a program K-5 gardening class. Members help the science teacher plan the school’s vegetable gardens, frog pond, and Earth Day activities. A program sponsored by the National Garden Club promotes youth involvement in gardening through yearly poetry, essay, sculpture and poster contests. Committee informs Calverton of contests, assists in the submittal of student entries to District II and delivers awards earned to the school.
The program is made possible by the financial support of Calvert Garden Club; leadership of Calvert Garden Club members who meet with students quarterly; the accommodating atmosphere at the Calverton School; and enthusiasm of the students.
Calvert Garden Club Website
The Calvert Garden Club website is used by members to inform them of the latest and most up-to-date activities, projects and information about the Club. However, the main purpose of the website is to inform and educate our community. We provide information about our projects, how we offer financial assistance, and how community members can engage with us. We also provide links to useful resources and educational materials that are used by schools and other interested community organizations. The website is our face to the larger world and we strive to keep it accurate and useful.