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The Day - Sound & Country - - FRONT PAGE -

1989. “All of our free la­bor makes our [prod­ucts] a very rea­son­able price.”

Mem­bers also said the gar­den club is one of those places in life where what they give is ex­ceeded by what they get.

“We all love to grow things. I’ve learned so much,” Bertsche said.

“It’s ther­apy!” laughed Linda Bur­rows of Ston­ing­ton.

“Yes!” nod­ded Celia Gallup of Mys­tic. “We all get to­gether and we start laugh­ing. It’s a great way to get to know peo­ple through­out town, and we help the com­mu­nity.”

And the com­mu­nity re­turns its sup­port in the form of do­na­tions of trees, greens and ma­te­ri­als.

“Peo­ple wait to trim their holly branches” so they can do­nate them to the club, Bog­dan ex­plained.

Mem­bers say that word of the sale’s scope and qual­ity has spread. “Peo­ple love to come; it’s like a field trip for out-of-town­ers,” said Karen Car­ri­era of Gro­ton Long Point.

Pro­ceeds go to­ward the club’s mul­ti­ple projects and ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing an an­nual schol­ar­ship to an area stu­dent study­ing hor­ti­cul­ture or a re­lated ma­jor; the pur­chase and care of flower boxes through­out down­town Mys­tic; adopt-a-high­way cleanup projects; and gar­den ther­apy, in which area re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters take part in flower-ar­rang­ing.

The club also pro­vides di­rect fi­nan­cial sup­port to var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the Mys­tic Arts Cen­ter, Mys­tic Noank Li­brary, Deni­son Homestead, Deni­son Pe­quot­se­pos Na­ture Cen­ter, Food Re­sources Ed­u­ca­tion Se­cu­rity Health Project (FRESH), lower Mys­tic ceme­tery, Mys­tic River His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, Gro­ton Out­door Space As­so­ci­a­tion (GOSA) and The Jabez Smith House.

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