Several members of the Harpswell Garden Club attended the 85th annual convention of the GCFM, held in Bar Harbor at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center. There were cocktail parties, garden tours, and a design challenge, as well as great food, entertaining speakers, and an opportunity to view the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain.
The convention opened with a party honoring the State Life Members and the recipient of this year’s GCFM Scholarship, Diane Dunham. Wednesday offered the opportunity to visit several wonderful gardens, a container design challenge (sponsored by Gardener’s Supply of Burlington, Vermont), and a delightful evening with dinner and Tovah Martin’s presentation on gardening for the five senses.
Thursday dawned early, and a few hardy Harpswellians accompanied two dozen other conventioneers to the top of Cadillac Mountain, where we witnessed the sun rising over Frenchman’s Bay. It was an invigorating start to the day. The convention’s annual business meeting was conducted, and included remarks from our National Garden Club President, Sandy Robinson, our New England Region Director Vera Bowen, and the GCFM President, Suzanne Bushnell. Following a buffet luncheon (which included a delicious cake commemorating the Federation’s 85th year and Acadia National Park’s Centennial) retired Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele shared his memories of Acadia. The convention concluded with the distribution of the awards won by clubs throughout the state. Harpswell did not come home empty-handed. Ann Standridge had her hands full of certificates, plaques and trophies before the day ended. Among the awards our club earned were certificates for the most points for the Club of Distinction Award and the most new members for the year. Harpswell also won an award for the best programs on horticulture.
Next year’s convention will be in Freeport, Maine, so look for details next winter, and sign on for another fun-filled gathering of garden clubs.