EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 7, 2013

Hampstead gardeners work to make their town prettier

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“I see members bring their lunch there,” she said. “It’s a great way to get away from everything and enjoy some peaceful time.”

The gardeners’ efforts are visible throughout town. Erika Wells of Hampstead goes for a run every morning. Everywhere she goes, she said, the garden club has made its mark.

“It makes my town so much better,” Wells said. “They do a splendid job with everything they do.”

And they do it in near anonymity.

“I’ve lived here for 22 years, but I still don’t even know who many of the garden club members are,” she said. “They don’t do it for the notoriety.”

Town road agent Jon Worthen said the garden club makes life easier on his department, too.

“It helps our building and grounds guy,” he said. “We try to help each other out. If they need a load of something, sometimes we can provide some assistance. It’s a partnership in a way.”

But the club does more than just tend gardens around town. Each year, they host a plant sale which is their primary source of revenue.

“People come out of the woodwork for it,” Leocha said. “We get people lined up an hour before we open.”

The group raised more than $4,000 in this year’s fundraiser. The 1,200 plants sold out within 40 minutes.

“We do it to just replenish our budget,” VanderSande said. “We’ll take plants from the community gardens or even our own gardens.”

Each year around the holidays, the group hosts its Deck the Halls program. Members create wreaths and garlands, then spend one night hanging the decorations around town.

“I always love seeing them on the Meeting House and on Town Hall,” Wells said. “The greenery is just so pretty.”

The club also hosts an annual tour of the seven gardens members maintain.

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