Local Garden Clubs Create Personalized Holiday Cheer

EASTON, MD (November 30, 2023) – You may know that BWI (Baltimore-Washington International) is Maryland’s major airport. But did you know that ESN (Easton Airport) is among the busiest airports in the state and that ESN celebrated its 80th year in 2023?


Four members of the garden club design team, all TCGC members, are shown with the airport tree (l. to r.): Maribeth Lane, Myra Gons, Paige Connelly and Dana Vlk.

When Maryland’s First Lady, Dawn Moore, asked Talbot County Garden Club and the neighboring Oxford Garden Club to provide a holiday tree to represent our county in the State Capitol Rotunda as they did last year, the garden club team decided to memorialize the local airport’s singular milestone. The team fashioned flight-themed ornaments from balsa wood, recycled aviation maps and punched airplane snowflakes. The Talbot tree was delivered to the Rotunda in Annapolis on November 29, ahead of the holidays! 

Airport management was so excited by the project that they requested a similar tree for their terminal building. Unfazed, the team delivered a second tree the very next day! Both trees include a model control tower tree-topper, constructed and contributed by Dave Putman of the Civil Air Patrol.

The crafty ladies of the Talbot County Garden Club together with neighbors from the Oxford Garden Club created two holiday trees themed to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Easton Airport. One tree to represent what’s special about the county is on display at the State House in Annapolis; the other, in the airport terminal.

Last year’s Talbot tree was covered with hand-made waterfowl, indicative of those that inhabit the county’s 600-mile waterfront. That tree, which found its way to the historic Tidewater Inn for display during Easton’s Waterfowl Festival, will subsequently go to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels where it will be on permanent display.


Myra Gons makes a final adjustment.

Decking the Halls in Easton

In keeping with its historic practice, all 100-plus members of the Talbot County Garden Club recently gathered and decorated greens to enliven the holidays for the local community. With help from Easton Utilities, the greens have been installed at the Talbot County Court House, Shore United Bank and Easton Utilities’ headquarters. Additional greens were provided to the Talbot County Free Libraries in Easton and St. Michaels, the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, the Talbot County Visitor’s Center/Easton Economic Development Office, and a number of downtown Easton businesses. In addition, club members fashioned 100 tabletop arrangements to brighten the holidays for local Meals on Wheels clients, and provided holiday arrangements to Talbot Hospice and the Talbot Interfaith Shelter.


This press release appeared in the August 2022 edition of Attraction Magazine.


The 2022 Talbot County Tour of the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage was “a huge success,” according to Tour Chair Eleanor Denegre. As a result, The Talbot County Garden Club (TCGC), which hosted the May event, proudly presented a check for $10,000 to the Talbot Historical Society on July 8 to assist in their restoration of Joseph’s Cottage, a significant 18th century clapboard dwelling in the Society’s public garden on Washington Street in Easton.

TCGC reported a record Tour attendance with well over 1,000 visitors despite a challenging Tour-day Nor’easter. And TCGC realized record revenues, thanks to welcoming, enthusiastic, community-minded property owners and dedicated committees that involved more than 100 club members plus many volunteers. In the end, the Garden Club was “thrilled” to be able to donate a larger than expected portion of the Tour’s proceeds to the Historical Society, according to Denegre.

The Pilgrimage was founded in 1937 by garden clubs around the state as an annual event with an original goal to preserve historic properties in Annapolis. TCGC became involved with the Pilgrimage at its inception, although the organization’s terms have been revised to allow for bi-annual county participation in the event, which now benefits historic assets in each host county.

Talbot County resident Caroline Benson, who sold a bonanza number of Pilgrimage tickets this year, recalls, as a 12-year-old, attending the event with her mother. This experience helped whet her interest in historic properties. A 50-year Garden Club member, she also serves as treasurer on the state’s Pilgrimage Committee.

The Pilgrimage draws an audience who appreciate interesting history, fine architecture, beautiful gardens, and exquisite floral arrangements. This year’s Talbot County Tour led visitors through six iconic private properties – Ashby, Gross Coate Farm, Leggacy, Riverbank, Shipshead Farm, and the William Mason Shehan House. It presented an array of architectural styles – Georgian, Italianate, Victorian, and Colonial Revival – mostly set along Talbot’s waterfronts with properties dating back to land grants by Lord Baltimore in the 1600s.

On Tour, visitors were also directed to two public sites. Lunch was offered at the Third Haven Friends Meeting House (1684) and warm welcomes were extended at the Talbot Historical Society.

At the presentation ceremony, Talbot Historical Society Vice President Al Silverstein reaffirmed the Society’s 60-year relationship with the Talbot County Garden Club that began in 1956 when the James Neall House (1804) was saved from the wrecking ball that was to have made way for a parking lot. Not only did the Garden Club contribute toward the purchase of the property, but it has also lovingly helped with the design, planting and maintenance of the surrounding public garden ever since.

According to Silverstein, Joseph’s Cottage is a special project currently under discussion by the Society’s Board. While architectural studies are already underway, it could take up to 18 months to restore as a suitable tour site and exhibition area. Joseph, the cottage owner, was a cabinetmaker and James Neall’s brother. Both Nealls were Quakers and early Abolitionists. “There is a lot of history connected to this property,” Silverstein points out.

“We look forward to the day when the cottage restoration is complete,” says TCGC President Carolyn Rugg, “so we can begin planning for the gardens to grace it, to ensure the Historical Society Garden endures as a horticultural gem within the Town of Easton.”

Proceeds from the Talbot County Tour will also help fund TCGC programs that include work in this and other Easton gardens and green spaces, free public lectures, children’s programs, holiday decorations, and floral donations to Meals on Wheels, Hospice, Talbot Interfaith Shelter, and more. The Talbot County Garden Club has graced Talbot County for 105 years!

CAPTION: From left, at a presentation ceremony in the Talbot Historical Society’s garden with Joseph’s Cottage in sight, General Manager Peggy Morey and Board Vice President Al Silverstein accepted a substantial monetary gift from Talbot County Garden Club President Carolyn Rugg. TCGC Treasurer Fran Jenkins and Tour Chair Eleanor Denegre participated.


CAPTION: This year, the Talbot County Garden Club selected the Talbot Historical Society as the beneficiary of the Talbot County Tour of the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage. TCGC was thrilled to present its check for $10,000 to help the Society restore Joseph’s Cottage, which has potential to become a new interpretive tour site in a county that is well steeped in history.

On April 9 to observe Arbor Day, the Town of Easton installed three bald cypress trees near the gazebo in Idlewild Park. The trees were provided by the Talbot County Garden Club to honor America’s great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th Birthday.
Olmsted’s notable public green spaces include New York’s Central Park and Washington’s Rock Creek Park. Easton’s Idlewild Park reflects Olmsted’s spirit as it offers recreational opportunities and enjoyment to many people. Honoring Olmsted is an initiative of the Garden Club of America, with which the Talbot County Garden Club is affiliated.
In a proclamation, Mayor Robert Willey urged all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day by recognizing the many benefits that trees provide, and by planting and caring for trees for the well-being of this and future generations.
Taking part in the Arbor Day tree planting event were, front, from left, TCGC Vice President Maribeth Lane, TCGC President Carolyn Rugg, Easton Mayor Robert Willey, and former TCGC President/current Easton Tree Board Member Chloe Pitard; and Easton Public Works Department staff, back, from left, Logan Lyons, Mike Young, Barry Slaughter, and Kevin Hackett.

The Maryland Room of the Talbot County Free Library in Easton will accept the historical archives of the Talbot County Garden Club at a ceremony on March 28 at 10:30 a.m. Local officials are expected to attend. At that time, the Garden Club will also recognize Pat Lewers and Martha Horner, members who assembled and carefully curated the archives, which showcase a century of intertwined club, county and town history.

“We chose the library as a safe repository for our eight leather-bound volumes and as an accessible place for their perusal by the public,” says Garden Club President Carolyn Rugg. “Some fantastic stories of the legacy of civic programs and the development of public spaces leap from the pages of these books. They provide evidence of how a community-minded group – united by an interest in gardening, flowers and the environment – can work as one to enhance a town and a county.”

The Garden Club was instrumental in planning and planting the Easton Library’s Gardens in 1977. The group has provided continuous maintenance and renewal, year after year, for both the entrance garden and the greenspace outside the Children’s Area.

In addition, Club members have shared their passion for gardening and the environment with local elementary school children through educational programs since the 1950s. These free programs continue today in the Young Gardeners Club, which meets regularly at the library during the school year. All youngsters are welcome to come and join in projects from nature journaling to basket weaving to learning how native plants can help birds, bees and other pollinators survive.

The Garden Club has a solid roster of current civic projects. These include the design and maintenance of five public gardens in the Town of Easton, free gardening lectures, holiday decorations for the town, floral presentations for Hospice and Meals on Wheels, and more. The Garden Club will host the Talbot County Tour of the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage on May 7, to benefit restoration of Joseph’s Cottage at the Talbot Historical Society.

For more information on the Talbot County Garden Club, visit

The Talbot County Free Library in Easton will offer a Preview of the 2022 “Talbot County Tour” of the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage at the library on Saturday, April 2 at 10 am. The in-person event with limited seating is free and available by advance reservation. The event will also be offered online via Zoom. For reservations and online access via Zoom, call the Easton Library at 410-822-1626 or visit

At the Preview, Tour Chair Eleanor Denegre will give a colorful illustrated presentation and share personal insights into the bi-annual local Tour, which – with its iconic waterfront and historic homes and gardens – is known as the crown jewel among house and garden pilgrimages held around the state.

Denegre will cover all six private properties and two public sites that will welcome visitors during the official Talbot County Tour on May 7.

The Talbot County Garden Club, which organizes the Tour, has participated in the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage since its inception in 1937. As a fundraiser, this year’s Tour will support the renovation of Joseph’s Cottage (c1797-98) at the Talbot Historical Society.


An array of exciting Eastern Shore properties awaits your visit during the Talbot County portion of the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage, Saturday, May 7, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The Talbot County Tour is exceptional and not to be missed!

The Talbot County Garden Club, which organizes the Tour, has participated in the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage since its inception in 1939. As a fundraiser, this year’s Tour will support the renovation of Joseph’s Cottage (c1797-98) at the Talbot Historical Society and the club’s roster of civic projects. These include the design and maintenance of five public gardens in the Town of Easton, plus free gardening lectures, a children’s environmental ed program, holiday decorations for the town, floral presentations for Hospice and Meals on Wheels, and more.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. To purchase advance-sale tickets, go to

The Tour gives you rare access to some of Maryland’s most iconic homes and gardens, reflecting the unique beauty of Talbot County: the William Mason Shehan House, Riverbank, Shipshead Farm, Leggacy, Gross Coate Farm, and Ashby – all near Easton. The Tour will include stops at the Talbot Historical Society Gardens and Third Haven Friends Meeting House.

Here are insights into each of the Tour’s celebrated historic properties and waterfront estates – all sure to regale you with beguiling floral arrangements indoors and exquisite spring gardens outdoors:

WILLIAM MASON SHEHAN HOUSE: Constructed in 1909-1910 in the Colonial Revival style, the William Mason Shehan House is one of Easton’s most distinguished homes. As Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Talbot County, Shehan resided in this home with his family until his death in 1941. Upon entering this lovely home, you will find an airy foyer and grand staircase, a dining room with bay windows offering wonderful natural light, a sunroom with wrap-around windows and relaxed views, and a welcoming kitchen with a serene color palette. The rear yard is an island of tranquility with a guest house and pool visually connected to the main house through the use of trellises and magnificent landscaping.

RIVERBANK: Filled with a crisp, elegant blue and white interior, this charming house is nestled along the banks of Dixon Creek, just off the Tred Avon River. Local lore has it that a smitten young landowner fell in love with Mary Lee of Virginia and named his land “Lee Haven” in honor of his bride-to-be. Alas, the marriage never took place, but the name held. Much of the property is lushly shaded with older trees and an impressive display of peonies, camellias, hydrangeas, and rhododendrons. With winding pathways throughout, the garden continues to evolve with fresh plantings and new spaces such as the creekside firepit for friends and family to enjoy. Follow the brick walk to the rear of the house to take in the waterside garden and always-blooming living shoreline just feet from the water’s edge. This delightful property is a horticulturist’s dream!

SHIPSHEAD FARM: Sheepshead Point Farm was referenced in Talbot County documents with a land patent of 1664. Its 18th century three-story manor house was recently renovated to accommodate 21st century living. The original portion of the house sits on a brick foundation with frame and brick nogging in the walls. The oval stairway and heart pine flooring on all levels of the main house are original. Additions allow for a private master suite with garden and farm views of grazing wildlife and numerous species of migrating waterfowl, as well as new kitchen, dining room and great room. Backyard pathways are highlighted by a variety of grasses, crepe myrtles and perennials. Paths lead to a pond-like swimming pool, butterfly gardens and expansive farm fields beyond. Sensitivity in conserving farmland from development and creating a mecca for wildlife were foremost on owners’ minds over the last 30 years and they hope you will find your own sense of peace as you walk the grounds.

LEGGACY: The back of this 1870s Victorian overlooks a large lawn with old, stately trees and a pool located halfway to the Miles riverbank. The house is built in the “shingle style,” popular in late 19th century Northeastern coastal areas for those seeking a rustic rather than formal Victorian style. Covered in butter-yellow scalloped shingles, the house has wide wrap-around porches and a complex, asymmetrical roofline formed by dormers, bay windows and a wide turret. Throughout the house, soft wall colors set off dark pine floors and high gloss cream paint highlights original, restored Victorian moldings. The house’s renovation preserved historic features, including a pair of iron brackets mounted on either side of the front doorjamb. They originally held a large iron bar across the door that was the 19th century version of locking up at night. Established around 1680, the now-extinct Miles River Ferry transported passengers via canoe and later a flat-bottomed boat that docked here. Before the first Miles River Bridge was built in 1858, ferry was the only way to cross the river to access Easton or St. Michaels.

GROSS COATE FARM: The large brick dwelling, located at the confluence of Gross Creek, Lloyd Creek and the Wye River, is a Georgian masterpiece, dating from 1760. The property was originally patented to William Gross by Lord Baltimore in 1658, then owned by the Tilghman family for two and a half centuries. Author Christopher Weeks writes of this gracious plantation house: “The house grew and changed in a leisurely fashion with the family fortunes.” In 1914 while significant changes were undertaken, an intricately carved mantel was rescued from the barn. The dining room floors were made from walnut trees, blown down by a hurricane. The wood was cured by lying in the river for several years. The wrap-around porch was designed to unite the house’s many varied additions. The creamery, smokehouse, laundry, carriage house, and stable are of interest, as are the very old, magnificent trees, several of which are state champions. The present owners have added a small Roman Catholic chapel, consecrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2016. It is dedicated to Maryland’s Elizabeth Ann Seton, America’s first female saint. All are welcome to visit and say a little prayer!

ASHBY: Situated on Goldsborough Neck overlooking the Miles River, Ashby was built in 1858 by Robert Goldsborough and his wife Elizabeth Greenberry. Ashby was designed with a romantic sensibility on the highest point of land facing south with a rolling lawn and two-mile vista of the river. The addition of a Colonial Revival portico in 1941 created a more formal Georgian mansion from the otherwise informal Italianate dwelling. The building is two bays wide, two bays deep and constructed on a brick foundation, reputedly part of an earlier foundation. An elegant entry hall features impressive high ceilings and the floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room illuminate the expansive interior rooms that overlook the river. Over nine generations, the family and original owners – descendants of Nicholas Goldsborough who emigrated from England to Kent Island about 1670 – played an influential role in Maryland and national politics. North of the house is the family cemetery enclosed by a high brick wall and stately gate. Many Goldsboroughs are buried here.


THIRD HAVEN FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE: Completed in 1684, this is the oldest documented building in the state. As one of only a handful of 17th century buildings to survive in Maryand’s Tidewater region, it is listed with the Maryland Historical Trust. At the time of its construction, there were many small meetings in the area and it was attended as a general “Meetinghouse” rather than as a place of local worship. By the end of the 17th century, the smaller meetings closed down and their members traveled more frequently to Third Haven. Meeting for worship continues to the present. Originally built in a modified cruciform, it was enlarged to its present shape in 1797-98. The sliding panels, which divide the large room, were closed to provide for separate men’s and women’s business meetings.

TALBOT HISTORICAL SOCIETY GARDENS: You are invited to tour the Gardens of the Historical Society of Talbot County, maintained by Talbot County Garden Club members. Enter through the North Terrace on Washington Street. The hand-wrought iron Entrance Gate incorporates the Historical Society’s “Star” logo and complements other iron gates, including an antique gate from New Orleans and the half-circle fence and gate providing entry from Glenwood Avenue. The garden along the brick walkway includes boxwood, spring and fall blooming camellias, native oak leaf hydrangeas, and sweet bay magnolias. The main garden has rectangular beds, typical of classical garden design in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Alice D. Huxley Herb Garden beside Joseph’s Cottage has lovely brickwork and a sundial as its focal point. The garden’s picket fence was designed after that of the Chase-Lloyd Garden in Annapolis. The garden adjacent to the Glenwood Avenue wall, with an undulating edge, is planted with native shrubs including sweetspire, summersweet and bottlebrush buckeye, and shade-loving annuals and perennials. The South Terrace Garden was a gift of the Garden Club in 1961. Enjoy these beloved in-town gardens.

Check TCGC’s website for further Tour details and for the lunch menu:
A delicious $17 box lunch will be available for pickup from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. by advance reservation only at the Third Haven Friends Meeting House. Checks for box lunch orders must be received by May 2, with checks payable to TCGC (Talbot County Garden Club) and mailed to: TCGC, PO Box 1524, Easton, MD 21601. Indicate your sandwich selection on the check. Your cancelled check is your receipt.

For questions, contact Talbot County Tour Chair Eleanor Denegre:

For other information, check / 410-821-6933

The Talbot County Garden Club recently kicked off planning for the 2022 Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage’s Talbot County Tour. The tour, which invites visitors to several notable private properties, will take place the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend — May 7, 2022. Eleanor Denegre chairs the event.

“I am thrilled to chair the 2022 tour committee,” says Denegre. “Our committee is working hard to create an extraordinary and enjoyable experience. Our lineup of fabulous houses and exquisite spring gardens promises to be another sensational tour among the many since our biannual event was launched in 1939.”

Properties on the tour include the William Mason Shehan House, Third Haven Friends Meeting House, Riverbank, Shipshead Farm, Leggacy, Gross Coate Farm, and Ashby – all in Easton. The tour will also cover a stop at the award-winning Talbot Historical Society Gardens, which are lovingly maintained by the Talbot County Garden Club.

Proceeds from the tour will help to restore Joseph’s Cottage, a late 18th Century wooden dwelling on the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society. Proceeds will also support the many civic projects of the garden club.

Members of the club chairing tour committees include:

Advertising: Maggie Jarboe and Louise Williams

Flowers: Ingrid Blanton and Karen Parker

Hospitality: Georgia Adler and Susie Granville

Hostesses: Jody Shaner

Luncheon: Ann Ashby and Sue Ellen Williams

Parking and Ambassadors: Alden Firth and Fran Jenkins

Patron Letter: Martha Horner and Pat Lewers

Photography: Laura Carney and Marsie Hawkinson

Publicity: Pam Keeton and Rita Mhley

Rack Cards: Rebecca Gaffney

Road Marking and Directions: Carol Harrison and Trish Reynolds

Script: Eleanor Denegre

Tour Bells: Caroline Benson

Treasurers: Joan Crowley, Maxine Millar and Virginia Sappington  

More information about each of the homes, as well as ticket information will be available in the spring.

“Mark your calendars for this highly anticipated event,” adds Carolyn Rugg, club president. “Talbot County is home to some of the most beautiful estates in Maryland and is always a popular part of the statewide Pilgrimage. We feel truly lucky to be able to share our rich history and beautiful landscapes with the many visitors who are sure to come and ‘tour’.”

The Talbot County Garden Club announces its winter lecture series featuring three world renown experts in the fields of landscape design and climate.  Author, photographer and lecturer Ken Duse; landscape architect Eric Groft; and the founder and president of C-Change, Kathleen Biggins.

All events will be held via Zoom and begin at 11 a.m. They are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Speaker – Ken Druse, author, photographer and lecturer

Program- The New Shade Garden: strategies for sustainable landscapes in the age of climate change.

Register through the TCGC website; by typing this link into your browser; or via email at

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Speaker – Eric Groft, principal with Oehme, van Sweeden Landscape Architecture, Fellow of American Society of Landscape Architects

Program – The New American Garden Style

Registration information will be released prior to the event.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Speaker – A member of C-Change

Program – The C-Change Primer, an accessible overview of the science behind climate change with an assessment of the potential risks ahead.

Registration information will be released prior to the event.

Questions about the programs should be directed to  Registration details are forthcoming.

Girls from Boy Scouts of America Troop 1091 gave the “Frances P.” in the Frances Plate Memorial Garden a new coat of paint as part of a troop project. The boat is a replica of a Chesapeake Bay work boat and is a favorite among children who play in the garden.

The Frances Plate Memorial Garden is located in Idlewild Park in Easton and was established by the Talbot County Garden Club in 2001. A committee of Club members maintain the garden, which also includes sculptures, a fountain, and a covered seating area nestled among native plants.

The all-girl troop, led by Scoutmaster Lori Stepp and Assistant Scoutmaster Kelly Tuttle, spent 2 days sanding, priming and painting the boat while adhering to safety guidelines regarding COVID-19.

The Talbot County Garden Club has a dynamic group of speakers lined up for its winter speakers series.  All programs will be held at the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, and are free and open to the public.

January 28, 2020 @ 1:30 PM

 Location:  Talbot County Free Library

100 W. Dover Street, Easton

Speaker:  Peter Hatch on “Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden”

Summary:  Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture” and Monticello’s 1000-foot-long vegetable garden became an experimental laboratory, a virtual Ellis Island of new and unusual vegetable novelties from around the globe.  Jefferson also was a pioneer in supporting farmers’ markets and fresh vegetable cookery and cuisine at Monticello.  Restored in 1984, the garden and Jefferson’s legacy continue to inspire the farm-to-table movement today.

About the speaker:  Peter Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes.  As Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello for 35 years, Hatch lectures on Monticello and the history of garden plants as he travels throughout the country to consult on the installation and maintenance of both public gardens and private estate landscapes.  What’s in your garden?

February 25, 2020 @ 1:30 PM

Location:  Talbot County Free Library

100 West Dover Street, Easton

Speaker:  Louis Raymond, “The Plant Geek” on “Potted – Gardening on the Edge”

Summary:  For garden iconoclast Louis Raymond, countless containers are not nearly enough.  Presented in time to spur your own adventures in container gardening this season, Raymond will talk about expanding the limits of gardening in pots, pools, troughs and even in drinking glasses and forgotten vases.

About the speaker:  Louis Raymond has been gardening since pre-school, but he also has received degrees in chemistry, piano and voice (he was an opera singer!) as well as having taken classes at medical school.  This Renaissance man has been published in national publications and was for six years the Show Designer for the New England Spring Flower & Garden Show.  Hold onto your hat and dream of planting your favorite patio pot!

March 25, 2020 @ 1:30 PM

Location:  Talbot County Free Library

100 West Dover Street, Easton

Speaker:  George Coombs on “Great Native Plants for the Home Landscape”

Summary:  With our world facing so many environmental threats, landscaping with native plants is something that we as gardeners can do to help our local ecosystem.  The discussion will include the use of native plants and real world examples of how they can easily be incorporated into the home landscape.

About the speaker: George Coombs, Director of Horticulture at Delaware’s public garden, Mt. Cuba Center, will highlight Mt. Cuba’s “Trial Program,” which aims to provide the home gardener with information about the best performing native plants for use in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Coombs, a graduate of the University of Delaware, has introduced numerous native plants to the nursery industry also has worked in both wholesale and retail nurseries.  Go native!  Dig up those Barberry bushes and make room for natives.

The Talbot County Garden Club will hold its biennial spring symposium on April 23, 2019 featuring three nationally renowned speakers. The event will be held at The Milestone in Easton. Tickets go on sale in January for $90 each, and include the program, lunch and the opportunity to shop with merchants. To purchase tickets, mail a check to the Talbot County Garden Club at P.O. Box 1524, Easton, MD 21601.

“We are looking forward to what promises to be one of our best symposiums yet,” said Symposium Chairwoman, Kim Eckart. “This is our major fundraiser for 2019 and will fund our community service projects throughout Talbot County.”

The speakers include:

Award-winning gardener and author Stephanie Cohen, also know as the Perennial Diva. Cohen will present a vibrant talk on “New and Underused Perennials.” She has taught courses at Temple University and is a contributing editor for Fine Gardening.

Award-winning gardener, floral designer and owner of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, Jennie Love. Love ‘n Fresh is a sustainably managed urban flower farm and design studio in Philadelphia. Love trained as both a horticulturist and floral designer at Longwood Gardens, and was named as one of the top 62 floral designers in the nation by Martha Stewart Wedding’s. Love will create designs from flowers picked from Love ‘n Fresh gardens.

And, back by popular demand, four very talented members of the Talbot County Garden Club will dazzle attendees with their floral designs. Each design will be one that can be created at home. Any special materials used will be offered for sale at the event.

The Talbot County Garden Club will sponsor several exceptional free lectures in the coming months, starting with landscape expert, Rick Darke. All events will be held at 1:30 p.m., at the Talbot Count Free Library in Easton, and are free and open to the public.

On January 22, 2019, Rick Darke will present a lecture on “The Living Landscape.” Many gardeners today want a home landscape that nourishes and fosters wildlife; but they also want beauty and functionality. Rick Darke will share his strategies for making and maintaining a diverse, layered landscape. Please note this program is longer than our others and will be at 90 minutes plus Q and A. His goal is to customize the program to our area.

On February 26, 2019, botanical artist Charlotte Heathe will present a program on botanical arts and the art of drawing flowers. Heath is a resident of the eastern shore of Virginia and was one of 45 artists from around the world chosen to participate in the first ever, contemporary botanical art showing in a major museum—the Weismann Museum in Minneapolis. Some of her work in gouache, pencil, pen & ink and acrylic will be available for purchase following the program.

On March 27, 2019, Greg Tepper, professional horticulturist, lecturer and consultant, will present a program about the newly formed Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek in Dagsboro, DE. Tepper has also worked at Mt. Cuba and Kew, and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Wisley in Great Britain.

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources. Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the fountain and childrens gardens at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities. There are currently a total of 109 active, associate and honorary members.

National Garden Clubs, Inc. has awarded the Talbot County Garden Club the Tommy Donnan Certificate of Merit for its book covering the history of the Club’s first one hundred years – “Talbot County Garden Club, 1917 – 2017.”

“There are so many delightful nuggets entwining the work of the Talbot County Garden Club with Talbot County history in this book,” said Rita Osgood, president of Talbot County Garden Club. “We are proud of our Centennial book and are thrilled that it won a national award.”

The project began when the Club made plans for its Centennial year. Under the guidance of past Club presidents Caroline Benson and Trish Reynolds, a number of events were planned to celebrate the Club’s history – banners were hung in downtown Easton, several special events were held, thousands of daffodils were planted along the By-Pass, and the award-winning book documenting 100 years of club activities was written by club members.

Club member, Missy Warfield, led the project as Editor-in-Chief and almost a dozen club members contributed to the book. The Club’s history unfolds through chapters not only outlining the Club’s history, but also that of America and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Working with the incredible cooperation of the staff at the Maryland Room of the Talbot County Free Library, the archivist of the Talbot Historical Society and the Club’s own archives, the writers gleaned little known facts and historical photos for the book.

Wrapped in a colorful dust jacket bright with yellow daffodils, the award-winning book is available for sale at the Talbot Historical Society’s Tharp Antiques & Decorative Arts for $40. Tharp is located at 25 S. Washington Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Books also may be purchased by mail order from the Talbot County Garden Club by sending a check for $43.50 (payable to TCGC) to P.O. Box 1524, Easton, MD, 21601. Price includes postage.

The book would make a perfect holiday gift for friends and family who have lived in or visited Talbot County and, perhaps, may have admired the work of the Garden Club in the Historical Society Gardens, the Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park or some of the many other public gardens maintained by the Club. Don’t miss owning a copy of this limited-edition, award-winning book.

The Talbot County Garden Club has periodically offered gardening programs for children since the 1950s and revived the program just over a year ago with an emphasis on conservation. The TCGC youth program is now sponsored at the local library and programs have covered natural resources, ecology, plants and gardening, as well as participating in community service. The current theme is “Nature Around Us” and programs are held once a month during the school year with boys and girls in grades 1 through 4. Talbot County Garden Club members and local community members have presented a variety of workshops with hands-on projects which the young gardener can take home. The programs have explored: pollinators, native plants, seeds and seedlings, ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’, ecosystems, designing a garden, flower arranging, worm composting, using succulents and bulbs. Activities have included: making newspaper pots to plant seeds and native plants – planting sunflower seeds and transplanting milkweed seedlings; making clay seed balls; making mason bee houses; mixing ingredients for suet for log feeders; building bird feeders; creating grapevine wreaths and decorating them with dried native seed pods and fruit; painting gourds with holes just big enough to attract chickadees to nest; creating garden stepping stones reusing pottery shards, shells and stones; painting a reusable tote bag; planting a terrarium and creating a fairy garden; making a worm composting bin with red wigglers; and many other activities. In addition, the Young Gardeners participate annually in each of Talbot County Garden Club’s Flower Shows presenting a project from a recent workshop. The Young Gardeners is an important part of Talbot County Garden Club’s mission as it fosters the next generation’s knowledge of gardening, floral design and conservation.

The Talbot County Garden Club is proud to announce Rita Osgood as its new President. Anne Foss, District 1 Director of the Federated Garden Clubs of America installed Rita as President at the Garden Club’s annual luncheon on June 26th, 2018. Rita will be fulfilling the term for the prior President, Pam Keeton, as she returns to her full time Communications career in Washington DC. The club will be nominating a new Vice President over the next few months.

Talbot County Garden Club Logo‘Timeless Treasures’ is the theme for the 2018 Talbot County House and Garden Tour, which will take place on Saturday, May 12th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. This year’s tour consists of six extraordinary waterfront properties dating as far back as the early 1700’s. Sponsored by the Talbot County Garden Club, the tour is part of the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP). Talbot County enjoys more than 600 miles of waterfront and visitors of this year’s tour will explore unique waterfront properties around the County while traveling through history. The tour will begin in the beautiful gardens of the Talbot County Historical Society and the tour’s information headquarters will be open at the Praeger Family Auditorium located at 17 S. Washington St. in Easton from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. From there you can plan your journey through the timeless treasures of Talbot County. The first two homes are located off of Oxford Road. Two Coves is situated on over 2 acres of land, with a unique 270-degree view of LeGates Cove. The home was originally built in 1965 with substantial renovations being completed inside and out since 2011. Owl’s Nest, which is situated on 13.5 acres overlooking Trippe Creek, was originally built in 1972 on property that once served as the nursery for Canterbury Manor, a 1,000-acre estate which dates back to the 1600’s. The home has also undergone substantial renovation and redesign. The next two homes are located down St Michaels Rd. Halcyon on the Tred Avon River is a venerable property that has gone through substantial renovation since its origin in the mid-19th century. Today, this gorgeous home is a perfect complement to the extraordinary graceful grounds with lovely outbuildings, an infinity swimming pool and extraordinary outdoor sculptures. Auburn is situated on 132 acres of farm and woodlands with a mile of waterfront on Shipshead Creek and the Tred Avon River. The oldest part of the house dates back to the 1700s. The tour then heads down Goldsborough Neck. A long driveway leads into Tamarind, overlooking Goldsborough Creek. Our tour features two of their fabulous guest houses – ‘Heron House’ and ‘The Cottage’ – which exemplify very different architectural styles and interior design. The tour completes with the historic home, Myrtle Grove. The oldest portion of the home was built between 1724 and 1734. The home has undergone renovation over the years but the main house continues to adorn many of its original decorative features throughout. In the living room, a window behind the 1888 Steinway grand piano contains the engraved signature of Robert E. Lee. The gardens have been preserved with all their natural Talbot County beauty as well. All the homes are truly timeless treasures. Tour participants are sure to be enchanted with the timeless beauty of all of the unique homes featured on this year’s tour. Tickets will be $35 in advance at the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage web site at or in person at Bountiful and Garden Treasures in Easton. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the tour at all locations for $40. Credit cards will only be accepted for online purchases. Eat Sprout will be providing locally sourced, organic boxed lunches for $15 at the Praeger Family Auditorium located at 17 S. Washington St. in Easton. They may be purchased online in advance at or the day of the tour at the Praeger Family Auditorium. For more information please contact the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage at or contact Laura Carney at 410-310-3307 or at Mark the date on your calendar now for May 12th, 2018! It will be an exceptional tour!

page2image2132460256The Talbot County Garden Club welcomes Matthew Benson to speak at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton MD on March 28, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. The one- hour event is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a brief Q and A and book signing.
With an emphasis on creative technique and technical literacy, The Photographic Garden is a comprehensive introduction to creating powerful, beautiful, dynamic images in the garden. Professional photographer Matthew Benson helps you foster a deeper understanding of design and aesthetics and encourages you to develop your own visual sensibility – through hundreds of his own thought-provoking garden images.
Matthew Benson’s photography is in the permanent collection of the International Center for Photography, New York, as well as numerous private and gallery collections. His work has been awarded both DESI and Society of Publication Designers Awards and appears regularly in magazines, books, catalogs and folios. He is on the National Speakers Tour for the Garden Clubs of America, and lectures widely on Garden and Landscape Photography. Raised and educated in Europe, with a Masters’ Degree from Columbia University, he is a trans-Atlantic sailor and certified alpine ski instructor. Architecture, design, and biodynamic organic farming are ongoing interests as is the restoration of Stonegate Farm, the 1860s Carpenter Gothic farm and studio in New York’s Hudson Valley. For more information, please visit his website at
This event will be held at the Talbot County Free Library at 100 West Dover St in Easton MD and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 12:45.