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Our beginnings

Sophia Plimpton’s interest in gardening led her to found the Garden Club of Hingham. She and her husband Harold lived in a sprawling estate in the fashionable Cole Street area (now 61 Burditt Avenue). Their property overlooked Hingham Harbor and boasted an orchard, grapevines, extensive gardens, a reflecting pool, and a tennis court. In April of 1924, Sophia placed an advertisement in the Hingham Journal inviting fellow Hinghamites interested in forming a garden club to meet at the town offices on April 22. Fifty people attended and elected officers. On May 14th, the first formal meeting of the Garden Club of Hingham was held at the Annex of the Old Ordinary, a location today’s Club still frequents. The first program was a lantern-slide lecture by Fletcher Steele, a famous landscape architect who designed over seven hundred gardens including Naumkeag in Stockbridge, MA, and the Fletcher Steele Garden (formerly the Spaulding Estate) in Milton. The topic of his lecture was “Colonial Tradition in Garden Design and Its Place in The Modern Garden.”

In 1927, the Garden Club of Hingham became one of fourteen charter members of the newly formed Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. By 1929 the Club had two hundred members, most of whom were couples that summered in Hingham but had winter homes in Boston, Brookline, or Milton. Many of the men took the summers off from work to enjoy their Hingham homes and most employed gardeners to plant and maintain their properties. Popular Club activities at the time were garden visits and bird walks. Over the years, the Club has continued to evolve and expand its passion for horticulture, conservation, education, and community service.

Today’s Club continues its mission to enhance the natural beauty of Hingham by promoting horticulture through gardening, floral and landscape design and to encourage the conservation of natural resources. The Club sponsors field trips and workshops and continues to host monthly speakers. They also tend to public gardens throughout Hingham including the gardens at the Old Ordinary, the courtyard garden and front door planters at the Hingham Public Library and Founders Park. The theme of the Club’s 2024 Centennial celebration is “Honoring our Past, Cultivating our Future”. Special events planned include a Centennial Celebration gala for members in April and a Centennial Garden Tour in June. The Club will also launch Hingham in Bloom, a special photo series celebrating Hingham’s rich flora, on their social media pages along with frequent posts throughout the year sharing the Club’s history and gardening trends over the last 100 years.