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.