2021-22 Meetings and Programs

If you are interested in joining please attend a meeting!  


Guests are welcome at all meetings except for those specifically restricted to members.  Meetings are typically  held at 7PM at the Cheshire Senior Center.   There is a guest fee of $5.00 for these meetings, which is deducted from the initial membership fee if you decide to join the Club.   


Some of our meetings are held via Zoom.  If you would like to join one of our Zoom meetings, please contact our Membership Chairperson Pat Archibald at parchibald459@gmail.com.  Guest fees will be waived for Zoom meetings.

Wednesday September 15, 2021 (Rain date September 22)

 Banishing Invasives, Houseplant Auction

2021-22 Kickoff meeting, outdoors at the Cheshire Historical Society 

Join us for our first Suburban Garden Club of Cheshire meeting of the new year!  We will be gathering outside on the Hitchcock Phillips House grounds at 5:00 PM for a varied evening that should be sociable, fun, and educational.  


This is a highly participatory meeting.  Bring houseplants to donate for our houseplant auction and any weeds or invasives from your yard that you would like identified (make sure any seeds are contained).  Our discussion on invasives and tips to control them will be moderated by our horticulture chair, Joanna Giddings.  A welcome by President, Signian McGeary start the evening and then committee chairs will describe their committees so members may follow their interests and join.  This event will take place outside at Hitchcock-Phillips house, 43 Church Drive.  BYO Food, drinks and chairs. 

Wednesday October 20, 2021

Homegrown National Park:  Nature's Best Hope

A Zoom video presentation by Doug Tallamy

Co-sponsored by the Cheshire Public Library and Southington Garden Club

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must- take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why by joining Homegrown National Park, we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope. 

Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 104 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book The Nature of Oaks was released by Timber press in March 2021.  Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. 

Wednesday November 17, 2021

Seasonal Decor:  Not Just for the Door

Presented by Heather Potter -- Location TBA

Spark your interest and ignite your creativity with botanicals for your seasonal enjoyment. Designer Heather Potter will demonstrate how to create original design styles incorporated with current trends for table, desk and mantel. From classic elegance to lush & lavish, mantelscaping takes flat to THAT!


From a young age Heather has had a love of all nature has to offer; foraging for mosses, ferns or the perfect pods to complete a unique creation. Always paying attention to detail and mechanics, Heather has received many awards for her design talents. Locally you can find her at Cheshire Nursery & Florist in the design room, tending to displays, or in the studio propagating plants.

Wednesday January 19, 2022

Great Garden Escapes  in New England

A Zoom video presentation by Jana Milbocker

Co-sponsored by the Cheshire Public Library 

Do you enjoy beautiful gardens? In this armchair tour of some the best public gardens and hidden gems of New England you will learn about each garden’s history, horticultural highlights, and special events that will inspire you to plan your own visit!

Jana Milbocker is a garden designer, speaker, and author. She combines horticulture, design, and travel tips to educate, inspire and delight both new and seasoned gardeners. Jana loves to visit gardens and historic sites in the U.S. and abroad, and share her trips through her books, photos and blog. She published The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast in 2018, and The Garden Tourist’s New England in 2020. She has lectured at flower shows in Mass., Conn., Maine, New York and New Jersey, as well as a multitude of horticultural societies, garden clubs, and libraries in the Northeast. She is owner of Enchanted Gardens, a landscape design firm in the Boston area. (EnchantedGardensDesign.com.) She is past president of the Holliston Garden Club, and active in the Garden Club Federation of Mass., Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and Garden Comm International.

Wednesday February 16, 2022

Gardens of Black America

A Zoom video presentation by Abra Lee

Co-sponsored by the Cheshire Public Library 

Black Americans have laid out a cultural blueprint for garden design in their own personal spaces. In this conversation we will discuss these historic legacies and the plants they used to beautify homes and communities. 

Abra Lee is a national speaker, writer, and founder of Conquer the Soil a community dedicated to celebrating the history, culture, and art of horticulture! She has spent a whole lotta time in the dirt as a municipal arborist, extension agent, airport landscape manager, and more. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University College of Agriculture and an alumna of the Longwood Gardens Society of Fellows, a global network of public horticulture professionals.  

Wednesday March 16, 2022

Home Sweet Habitat:  Cheshire Pollinator Pathway

A Zoom presentation by Joanna Giddings  

Do you wonder how to attract pollinators to your garden?  The importance of pollinators is an indisputable fact of nature.  But butterflies and bees are declining.  We will learn about the Pollinator Pathway movement, the design and installation of our own public pollinator garden in Cheshire, and how individual gardeners can become a part of the Pollinator Pathway. Tips and resources for adding plants that nurture pollinators and promote ecological diversity will be shared. 

Club member Joanna Giddings is the public educator for the Cheshire Pollinator Pathway Garden installed and maintained by the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire. Joanna teaches high school biology and shows her students how to identify and care for the plants and animals in our ecosystem. She has designed and installed her own pollinator gardens at home and has inspired Lawnies on her street to start planting with pollinators in mind. 

Click here for links to helpful information about of pollinators and native plants.

Wednesday April 13, 2022

Hello Spring!

A hands-on floral design program by Tony Poitras

For members only --  Cheshire Senior Center

Florist and club member Tony Poitras will share techniques for creating cheerful spring-themed  floral design.  The style is a cross between traditional and creative vertical isosceles triangle. The elements and principles of design will be explained.  Each member will make two small arrangements, one to keep and one that will be given to a resident at a local nursing home.  All materials will be provided by the club; each member is asked to bring a pair of clippers.  

Wednesday May 18, 2022  7PM

Sustainable Lawns, Bee Lawns and Other Options

Presented by Tom Christopher -- Cheshire Senior Center


As traditionally maintained, American lawns have been resource and labor intensive, biologically sterile, and major sources of water and air pollution.  Thomas Christopher will share with you a new model of sustainable lawn: a smart lawn that is easier to maintain, thrifty with resources, and friendly to wildlife.  Learn how your lawn can be greener in every sense of the word, a net contributor to the local ecosystem, while still offering the space for relaxation and a handsome backdrop for garden plantings.

If he’s not planting or pruning, Tom Christopher is probably in the WESU FM radio studio, working on his weekly program and podcast, “Growing Greener.”  Each week, Tom brings listeners an interview with one of the leading voices of gardening with nature – the goal is to make your landscape healthier, more beautiful, more sustainable, and more fun.  Tom is also the author of 16 books about gardening, and he publishes a syndicated weekly gardening column that appears in newspapers throughout central New England and upstate New York.  

Wednesday June 15  2022

Gardening for the Table:  Organic Herbs and Microgreens

 Cheshire Senior Center 

Details Coming Soon