The Garden Club of Bermuda was started in 1921 to stimulate interest in horticulture, floral design and related subjects, and to aid in the conservation of natural resources. To this end its members work hard to raise money for horticultural and environmental scholarships, and to support the local environmental community, whilst having fun along the way!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID pandemic please check the Events Calendar for changes to our usual activities. Garden Club activities generally occur during the months of October through May.
The Garden Club of Bermuda 100th Anniversary
April 4, 2021 marked The Garden Club of Bermuda’s 100th year of existence which is a tremendous achievement.
The Club has grown and expanded over the years but throughout its evolution has always maintained a standard for excellence and a desire to assist other charities.
Donations to the Seaman’s Fund and the Military and the Naval Hospitals during the war and the creation of the gardens at Agape House are only a few examples of the Club’s commitment to its philanthropic endeavours.
From the creation of KBB to the participation in the Buy Back Bermuda campaign and more recently the Skills Development Programme, the Club has always supported causes associated with the conservation and preservation of natural resources and championed education.
We thank all our past Presidents and lifelong members who have helped the Club flourish and to our current President and existing members for carrying on their legacy and ushering the Club into a new era.
Over the next months, The Garden Club of Bermuda will be holding celebratory events in recognition of its rich lineage while continuing to support the community in its initiatives.
Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, there will not be a big party, but events will take place regularly until April 2022, so stay tuned.
To start the celebrations, we were pleased to announce the launch on April 1st of a Commemorative Stamp Issue designed by Sheila Semos, photography by Chris Burville.
The Bermudian magazine had a feature in their spring issue covering this milestone.
No Tree…. No problem!
Alternative Christmas trees using natural materials by the creative and talented members of the Garden Club.
Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail
Most of the railway line which opened in 1931 and ran until 1948 is now a trail which is used by many locals and tourists alike, never more so these past few months with the pandemic.
In 2011, a group of companies and individuals formed the Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail. Their latest venture is the bridge at Flatts Inlet. The President, Dr. Tucker Murphy, a conservation biologist and a founding member calls it “A bridge into a garden”. It was designed and built of fiberglass in Pennsylvania by E.T. Techtonics (part of Creative Composites Group) and is the longest bridge of this nature in the world. The Garden Club of Bermuda is delighted to assist with this endeavour with a donation of $10,000.00. Preserving our heritage, connecting our island through trails which are safe for pedestrians and cyclists, giving everyone an escape from an urban lifestyle, encouraging discovery and promoting the health benefits associated with its usage are all aspects of the Club’s mission.
Fiberglass is strong, lightweight, mostly maintenance-free and can withstand our humid and salty climate. The colour of the bridge is a neutral green to blend in with the surrounding sea and vegetation and allow the natural beauty of the island to shine. To further enhance the experience, The Garden Club is also donating some plants to revegetate the landscape at each end of the bridge as well as a couple of benches for one to sit and enjoy the tranquility of the trails. The Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail could not have carried out this project without the help of numerous others, including volunteers from a cross section of Bermuda, ranging from Walking and Garden Club members to families from the surrounding neighbourhoods to interested architects, retirees and even a few visitors.
Eve’s Pond Donation
The Garden Club of Bermuda is pleased to present Buy Back Bermuda (BBB) with a cheque for $10,000 to assist with the further restoration of Eve’s Pond.
BBB, a joint initiative by the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust, was formed in 2004 to save open spaces for the benefit of our wildlife and human health and promote well being.
The Pond which was acquired in 2008 saw work begin in 2019 to restore it as a public nature reserve but is still under construction. It is in line for its grand opening in April of next year by which time it will start to attract many waterfowl.
It is a very serene place and The Garden Club also donated a couple of benches “for the enjoyment of everyone, forever” as is the motto of BBB.
Jennifer Gray, Chair of BBB, said “We are incredibly grateful to be the recipient of a 100th anniversary gift from The Garden Club of Bermuda. This gift ensures we can complete the restoration of Eve’s Pond to a high standard. BBB continues to keep a careful watch over precious open spaces that are under threat of development and the generosity of people like you enable us to preserve more of our natural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.”
Hannah Emmerson who for the past years has organized the sandcastle competitions at Horseshoe has very kindly created a sand sculpture in celebration of the Garden Club 100th Anniversary.
Sand sculpting is the oldest form of sculpting in the world, but it only became an art form during the 1970s in California and has since spread throughout the globe. Competitions and festivals are held each year attracting many visitors.
Hannah explained that there are different types of sand and that it can differ widely not only from one beach to another but along the same coastline. This is due to wave and tidal action and wind direction. Our lovely pink sand comes from a special type of coral called Foraminifera which grows out on the reef line. It is then broken down into smaller particles, either by wave erosion or parrotfish and mixed with other shells and coral to create the prettiest sand in the world.
Sand has many usages and because of its high demand notably in construction, the retrieval process raises concerns all over the world for our marine life and ecosystem.
Luckily for us in Bermuda, we can enjoy it and build sandcastles with it until the tide washes them away.
All photos taken by Hannah Emmerson
To continue the celebration of The Garden Club of Bermuda’s 100th anniversary and also to mark Buy Back Bermuda’s restoration of Eve’s Pond, three of our members, Elizabeth Adderley, Sylvia Outerbridge and Sheila Semos have created an installation for everybody to enjoy.
By foraging, they used mostly natural materials, including Palmetto Palm fronds and a variety of Crotons and Pleomele to build five “Pond Flowers”. Some recycled materials were incorporated to provide mechanics and enable the “flowers” to float on the pond.
Eve’s Pond is still ‘under construction’ and will gradually attract many waterfowl. It is our hope that this temporary display will bring awareness to the importance of saving and preserving Bermuda’s open spaces for all to appreciate!
We encourage everyone to take a drive or walk along North Shore Road to Eve’s Pond in Hamilton Parish to view this innovative installation today and all week.
Donation towards the Restoration of Verdmont
The Bermuda National Trust thanks the Garden Club of Bermuda for their generous gift for enhancements to Verdmont. The historic home is a national treasure of Bermuda’s built heritage. Like all old buildings, it costs a lot to maintain and keep open for the enjoyment and education of Bermuda residents and visitors, so we are deeply appreciative of their support. On behalf of the Trust, I offer warm congratulations to the Garden Club on their 100th anniversary and look forward to continuing the excellent relationship between our two organisations.
Karen Border, Executive Director, Bermuda National Trust
Jan Macdonald, President of The Garden Club of Bermuda said “We feel it is an extremely worthwhile project and we are delighted to support it with a gift of $10,000.
Missing from the photograph is Denise Ribaroff, the Garden Club representative, who has been very involved in the restoration of Verdmont.
Pictured from left to right: Rosemary Holmes, GC 100th Anniversary Co-Chair – Jackie Robinson, BNT Gardens Manager – Karen Border, BNT Executive Director – Randolph Joynes, BNT Property Manager and Jan Macdonald, GC President.
Donation to the Bermuda Zoological Society
Trunk Island, a living classroom, educating tomorrow’s environmentalists is the aim of Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS). In order to achieve this goal, Trunk Island is undergoing a complete restoration; eradicating invasive flora, planting endemics, reforesting with Bermuda Cedars and conducting any other conservation based activities. A cottage has also been transformed into a functional classroom.
The Garden Club of Bermuda is pleased to support this worthwhile endeavour and, as part of its 100th anniversary, donated $10,000 to the BZS for their project on Trunk Island “Funding the Future”. We believe that this gift will make a difference to Bermuda, the students and future generations.
Colin Brown, President of the BZS said “We are very grateful to the Garden Club of Bermuda for recognizing our Living Classroom as a project worthy of support for their 100th Anniversary. This donation will be used to educate young people about Bermuda’s natural environment while also restoring Trunk Island to native and endemic forest.”
Mini Float Challenge
The Garden Club‘s participation in the virtual Mini Float Challenge on May 28th, organized by the Department of Culture in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation, in celebration of Heritage Day. The theme was Bermudian Resilience.
The Garden Club of Bermuda sponsored the first Floral Pageant in 1950 and won a special prize for its floral float. It was an era where there was no virtual reality or social media. This float is a tribute to years gone by, a sign of strength and resilience as the Club celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year. The Garden Club’s entry was on display until May 27th in the Washington Mall Church Street entrance by Gibbons Home.
As the Island moved to Phase 2 of the latest COVID pandemic restrictions, The Garden Club of Bermuda welcomed people back to the city of Hamilton with a delightful display of sunflowers, snapdragons and lilies. The lily is the logo of the Club and a symbol of hope and life which we trust will bring renewed energy and vitality to the community.
This work of art which was on display at the corner of Reid and Burnaby Streets was designed and created by our three new floral art judges: Anna Fulton, Sylvia Outerbridge and Karen Smith.
City CEO Dwayne Caines said: “It is our delight to be able to support the Garden Club of Bermuda by hosting their beautiful displays which are so vibrant and attractive. The last flower flash certainly had everyone talking! At the City of Hamilton, we are always open to community organizations looking to engage people in this way. I want to congratulate the Garden Club of Bermuda on their 100th anniversary and thank them for their continued philanthropic endeavors.”
The flowers were sourced from Nature’s Harvest Nursery, Amaral, Pacheco and Sons, Wadson’s and Windybank Farms.
Care Home Easter Lily Donations
One of the missions of The Garden Club of Bermuda is the beautification of the island. Following the success of the Flower Flash we thought we would bring the joy indoors.
In homage to the staff and to bring delight to the residents, The Garden Club donated 100 bouquets of Easter Lilies to the various nursing and rest homes on the Island hoping to cheer everyone residing and working there.
The white lily is the logo of the Club and is the symbol of beauty, spirituality, hope and life so it is only fitting, given the abundance of these beautiful flowers at this time of year, that they should be chosen. We partnered with Pacheco and Sons Farm from whom we purchased the flowers and who very kindly helped us deliver the bunches to the homes.
Supporting the community, the essential workers, the elderly and the local farmers is something that The Garden Club of Bermuda has always strived towards and this latest initiative is in keeping with these objectives.
Nicky Gurret, one of our members, transformed the Birdcage in Hamilton into an explosion of flowers to not only celebrate the Club’s 100th anniversary and welcome spring, but more importantly to put a smile on people’s faces and to brighten and beautify their day. It’s also our way of acknowledging our front line workers and support the community. By sourcing the flowers locally, we are also helping our local farmers.
The Bermudian Magazine’s Spring Issue contains an article on page 28 about the history of The Garden Club of Bermuda as it celebrates its 100th Anniversary
100th Anniversary submissions by Sylvie Elliott
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