CAMDEN — Facing historic challenges with the current health emergency and unknown future impact, the Camden Garden Club was aware that the safety and health of members, home owners, local residents and visitors from away was a top priority in determining how to proceed with this year’s planned events. The very difficult decision to cancel the 73rd annual Garden & Home Tour, scheduled for July 16, was made at the April board meeting.
The Camden Garden Club began hosting Flower Shows and Open Garden Days as early as 1940 to raise funds for town projects the club would undertake. In 1944 it was decided that these events would be discontinued for the duration of the war. The Camden Herald reported “The Garden Club treasury was depleted because of the Flower Shows and Open Houses being discontinued… In spite of their problems, however, they managed to fill the flower baskets on the lamp posts with red geraniums for the summer season.”
On July 20, 1948 the club held its first annual House & Garden Show and over 500 people were on hand to view ten homes and adjacent gardens. Every July since then, for 72 years, the club has presented some of the area’s most beautiful and unique properties to local residents and visitors. The proceeds of the tours have enabled the club to provide the flower baskets in the summer, the holiday wreaths in the winter, maintenance of the Camden Village Green and countless other beautification projects. In 2015 the club was recognized by the Maine Legislature for its dedication to civic improvement and the implementation of many projects and programs that have beautified Camden and the Midcoast area.
The mission of the organization and its tours are forever linked in the 105 year history of Camden Garden Club, and being able to reinstate this popular event in 2021 will be a major objective going forward. Further updates about other club activities can be found on the website CamdenGardenClub.org.