Our stated mission is to stimulate and promote the knowledge and love of gardening, to advocate for the natural beauty of our community and encourage the conservation of natural resources. In an effort to further enhance our community involvement, we set aside a major portion of our fundraiser proceeds each year to be spent on worthy community projects which meet our mission statement guidelines. If you have started a venture and need additional funding or have a project in mind and no funding, we encourage you to fill out the Request for Funding form and email or mail it to Karen Houston. Contact information is included on the form.
In the spirit of community, our members create opportunities for everyone to appreciate the city with horticultural surprises in unexpected places.
The High Street water trough at the intersection of High and Auburn Streets is adorned with seasonal plantings and holiday decorations throughout the year. Once located in Market Square, the trough replaced the "horse" drinking fountain in September of 1923. It is a pretty sight located just outside the Bartlet Mall Park. Thank you to an area resident for his generous donation to keep the trough looking especially beautiful in 2018.
On Low Street under the Rail Trail overpass, our site is considered to be in its "environs." In September of 2011, weeds, some as tall as five feet, were pulled to make way for a new bed. Our members brought their own plants for the garden to supplement some purchased. Our "pot luck" event spruced up the area and now gives motorists a scenic view. Newly planted daffodils burst onto the scene in the spring of 2016. Every year new additions continue to enhance this site.
At the Rail Trail bird bath area, created in 2013, a three trunked river birch tree and boxwood were planted to complement the granite bench and bird bath installed there. Sitting low to the ground, it seems that dogs prefer it much more than the birds! A simple design was executed due to poor soil quality and the lack of water available in the area. This pretty site, between Low Street and the train station near the horse sculpture Clyde will only grow more lovely as the plantings mature.
In 2015, the Society approached the Waterfront Trust Commission with a proposal to renovate and maintain two garden beds within the Waterfront Trust Park. This proposal was enthusiastically received and members designed and implemented a complete renovation of two existing garden spaces just behind the Firehouse Center for the Arts. These gardens were designed for beauty while keeping the view, summer concerts goers, and our visitors in mind. Showy hydrangea, hosta, astilbe, ornamental grasses, and ground cover add to the already beautiful surroundings. A third garden restoration was completed in 2016 after careful consideration, lots of trimming and, of course, weeding. A few perennial additions were leocothoe, angelina sedum, spirea, cranesbill, and ligularia.
As a memorial tribute to former member, Ann Kemp, a section of the Rail Trail between High and Low Streets was planted with 600 King Alfred daffodil bulbs in the fall of 2015. Ann enjoyed walking the rail trail and was known to recite a favorite poem by William Wordsworth titled "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," which made the selection of a daffodil planting meaningful. This is a site that we can continue to plant with daffodils in the years ahead as a tribute to members we have lost. Each spring will bring a burst of golden yellow and daffodils "tossing their heads in spritely dance."
The Cushing House Museum on High Street is decorated for the holidays each year by several area garden clubs. Each group is assigned a space to decorate and volunteers gather on a December morning to transform the elegant home, both inside and out, with festive holiday arrangements and greenery.
In 2015, members of the Newburyport Horticultural Society began in the task of creating holiday decorations for the annual Holiday Open House. Free to the public, this event occurs only one weekend in December at this National Historic Landmark.