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Sayville Garden Club Members Stop to Smell the Roses

The volunteers work to make Sayville more environmentally sound and beautiful.

Many volunteers work to make Sayville a beautiful place to live and the breath-taking gardens in and around town are no accident. They are thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Sayville Garden Club.

But the Garden Club isn't just about flowers – the members are also focused on the environment. Founded in 1927 and federated in 1946, the Sayville Garden Club is a member of the National Garden Clubs and the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Second District. It has 63 active members and five honorary members.

While the club isn't solely based on flowers and gardening, the fruits of its labor are evident throughout the town. The club is responsible for designing, planting and maintaining the front garden of the Gillette House. It also created and maintains the herb garden at Edwards Homestead as well as the garden at Sparrow Park.

The club plants and maintains the vegetable garden at Meadow Croft, with
the produce donated to the Sayville Food Pantry.

"The Garden Club is just the nicest group of people," said Betty Whitehouse, member, former president and chairman of the environmental committee. "We also hope to help out with environmental causes to a certain extent."

Other activities include: a bi-annual Garden Tour in Sayville with BAFFA; plantings donated to Sayville Public Library; volunteering at Good Samaritan Nursing Home doing holiday garden therapy projects; working with Keep Islip Clean with monthly clean-ups at the west end of Sayville; creating designs for the Bayport Heritage house tour in October, for the Sayville Historical Society Holiday House Tour, and for the Sayville and Bayport-Blue Point libraries in December; and decorating a room at Meadow Croft and at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum at Christmastime.

"Our emphasis is on the beautification of the community," Whitehouse said. "We give recognition awards to outstanding business plantings and home gardens (called the Tulip awards). We also study the environment, learn more about the plants and the pests that bother them."

The club donates two scholarships a year – one for a Bayport-Blue Point student and one for a Sayville student. New members are always welcome. The Garden Club meets at Sayville United Methodist Church from September through June at noon – usually on the third Monday of the month with design workshops starting at 10:30 a.m. on most of those months.

For more information, call 631-567-2203 or e-mail sayvillegardenclub@gmail.com.

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