The long-standing symbol of our town and Garden Club of Hingham is the forget-me-not flower, which was brought to Hingham by artist, Winckworth Allan Gay in the mid 19th century from Fontainebleau, France.
“The forget-me-nots were planted along the Town Brook and later spread to the wet area behind the South School and near Haywards Pond off French Street. Starting about 1910, children picked and sold bunches of them at the railroad station. The forget-me-not symbolizes our remembrance of the past as we celebrate our 75th anniversary.” (Garden Club of Hingham 2000)
While these profuse biennials have carpeted areas of Hingham in the past, they have become less noticeable as our town has developed over the last century. Perhaps it is the natural ebb and flow of a plant species in a changing environment, but it calls to mind how precious our surroundings are and how we must work to protect our natural resources. For many years our club members took the following pledge which we have found in past yearbooks:
THE CONSERVATION PLEDGE
I give my pledge as an American
to save and faithfully defend from waste
the natural resources of my country—
its soil and minerals, its forest,
water and wildlife
Conservation has been a priority for Garden Club members (a few of our own members created the petition to conserve the land at World’s End). In addition, members have cared for the public gardens in Hingham including the Old Ordinary Garden, the Library Courtyard, Founders Park, and Hingham Centre Traffic Islands. Perhaps as important as our work in the public spaces of Hingham, is our general passion for gardening and flowers which we have shared with friends, family and neighbors over the past 100 years.
The Garden Club of Hingham has accomplished so much over the past century and while we don’t normally boast, let us celebrate a few of the Club’s many accomplishments! We have created joy by selling holiday wreaths at a time when beautiful handmade wreaths were not easily accessible. We have visited the elderly and created arrangements together. We have planted trees on Arbor Day at almost every school in town and throughout various parks. We have won several awards at flower shows and competitions. We have donated arrangements to our friends at the Historical Society for their annual house tours. We have donated plantings for town spaces, such as Jackass Park. We have gardened with children from our neighborhoods through Junior Gardeners. We have also implemented the Plant-A-Row program and donated vegetables and flowers to the Hingham Food Pantry, just to name a few.
Our Club would not be where it is today without the hard work, dedication and stewardship of past and present members who have dedicated their time to advancing our mission: “To enhance the natural beauty of our town and to promote horticulture through gardening, floral design, landscape design, and the conservation of our natural resources.”
I look forward to another wonderful year together with excellent programming and events planned. We will begin our Centennial festivities with a party in January 2024, and our major fundraiser will be a Garden Tour in June of 2024. It will be wonderful to reconnect with Garden Club friends throughout the upcoming year as we celebrate this milestone together.