Noanett Garden Club
Noanett has been
A member of The Garden Club of America since 1923 
 The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts since 1929.  

History of the Club


Mrs. Lawrence A. Norton & Mrs. Daniel Pierce

Revised by Lee Patterson & Carrie Waterman in April 2011


 The Noanett Garden Club, in true taxonomical tradition, was originally called the Norfolk Garden Club. Its first president was Mrs. Louis Frothingham and its earliest members were a group of earnest gardeners who met at Mrs. Philip Weld's in 1923 and decided to become a garden club. When it was discovered that there already existed a Norfolk Garden Club, Mrs. Nelson Perkins suggested the name Noanett. There was regional and historical interest in the choice of this name as Chief Noanet, who was contemporaneous with Eliot's Praying Indians, is known to have hunted and fished in the streams and fields that are the vistas and points of interest in some of our members' gardens.


Mrs. Frothingham was president until 1933, when it was voted to institute a two-year term. Expeditions of the first years included Fitzwilliam's Rhododendron Swamp, the Harvard Forest, and an overnight trip to Newport. Early programs included one titled "Spiels on Specialties by Smart Members" and another, "Unsigned Opinions and Criticisms of the Hostess' Garden."


 In 1926, Noanett joined The Garden Club of America and participated in various conservation activities, among them the Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, where the members helped clear brush and establish a plant and wildflower trail. Unfortunately, this place was later destroyed by a hurricane. Noanett also joined The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts in 1929. In 1936, $1,000 was raised to fight Dutch Elm Disease, and the gift of a bas relief was made for the Pilgrim's Path in the garden of the National Cathedral in Washington.


Wars, as well as hurricanes, have been endured. When gas rationing curtailed most expeditions, the members concentrated on nutrition and canning classes and horticultural therapy in an army hospital. Alert to the needs for town planning, a meeting was held in the Dover Town Hall in 1937. Husbands were also invited to listen to the local tree wardens discuss what trees to plant and where to plant them. The members entered the fight against billboards in 1939, and we are still in it. That same year members also helped with planting at Gore Place. In 1940, a trail was planted on Dover town land near the Caryl Parsonage with plants from members' gardens. In 1953, Mrs. Lucien Taylor started a horticulture study class which really studied horticulture and was extremely popular. Since that time, at least 4 workshops are offered each year in which the talents, taste and experience of our best horticulturalists give incentive to new members and encouragement to perennial beginners. Throughout the years, the Club has faithfully, and many times successfully, supported the Massachusetts Horticultural Society by entering its New England Spring Flower Show. Today, Noanett participates in "BLOOMS!", the Amateur Competitions sponsored by MHS at the Boston Flower & Garden Show. Many members serve on leadership committees at the Flower Show, exhibit and win top awards.

Every year we hold at least seven meetings, 2-4 Horticulture workshops, 2-4 Conservation workshops as well as 3 in house horticulture shows (Taylor Bowl), 3 in-house Design competitions (Whiting Bowl) and 2-3 Photography shows (Cabot Bowl). Our major fundraisers are an annual Holiday wreath/boxwood tree workshop, selling Noanett Gold (compost) and in 2011 a plant sale. Funds from these endeavors finance our philanthropies and our dues are expected to meet our budget requirements. 

There are six types of memberships within the Club: Active, Honorary, Non-Resident, Provisional, Senior, and Sustaining.

Past and present Noanett projects include Mrs. Taylor's wildflower garden, Noanett Brook, the West Roxbury Veterans' Hospital, the Wildflower Rescue Committee, an extensive Historic Daffodil and Native Plant Garden at Elm Bank, endangered species education, a postcard project, the greenhouse and solar pit, flower arrangement and horticulture classes, and a yearly propagation project with The Garden Club of America.