Policies and Guidelines

What it Means to be a Member of the Club:

Candidates for membership:

  • Submit a written application to the Membership Chair
  • Attend one club meeting as a candidate
  • Candidates will be voted on at the next business meeting
  • A mentor will be assigned to each new member for the first year

Active Membership requirements:

  • Pay annual dues by due date of June 30
  • Attend 6 meetings per year
  • Participate in at least one civic project per year
  • Host or co-host one program meeting per year
  • Provide a food item for the Open Meeting
  • Donate 5 plants for the Plant Sale

We understand that from time to time members may not be able to meet the full requirements of active membership. In that situation members should notify the club presidents or the membership chair so that expectations can be adjusted.  Any member who is unable to meet the requirements of active membership for two consecutive years may be asked to consider associate membership, if eligible, or to withdraw from the club. Every attempt will be made to recognize individual circumstances, but we are a small hardworking group and need all of our members actively involved.

WAYS AND MEANS PROJECTS________________________

Holiday Open Meeting

Our holiday open meeting is one of our annual fund raisers. Proceeds from ticket sales and opportunity drawing support our annual civic projects. It is usually held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

General Information

  • The speaker and location for each year are arranged by the programs team – our current 1st vice presidents.
  • All expenses associated with this event, including the speaker and the location, are deducted from gross proceeds and do not impact the annual programs budget.
  • All other sub-committees are included in the annual commitment worksheet.
  • The Holiday Open Meeting Co-chairs are responsible for all aspects of project management.

Member Responsibilities

  • Every member of the club will receive 5 event tickets to sell.
  • Members are also asked to bring a double portion of either a dessert or a savory for hospitality.
  • Members should also plan on participating actively on some other aspect of the event, i.e. ticket sales, donations to opportunity drawing, setup/cleanup.

Event Hosts

  • The Host is responsible for all food and beverage at the meeting. This committee requires at least four co-hosts.
  • Flower arrangements are required for all food tables. These may be created by the Host or delegated to another member.  Flower expenses are reimbursable.
  • The arrangement may be donated to the opportunity drawing.
  • The setup team will set up chairs, tables and stage for the program. The breakdown team will clean up at the end of the evening.

 Opportunity Drawing Committee

  • Opportunity Drawing committee is responsible for sourcing donations from local businesses and members of the club. The team organizes all signage, tickets, and display of drawing items.

Plant Sale

This important fund raiser is held in May usually at the First Congregational Church Green. The proceeds support annual educational programs. The success of this event depends heavily on the full support of our members.

Event co-chairs are responsible for all aspects of planning and promoting this event.

  • Ordering annuals and additional perennials from local wholesale sources
  • Reserving the space at the First Congregational Church
  • Organizing the sign-ups for volunteers the day of the sale
  • Making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the sale

Each member is asked to donate at least 5 plants from their own garden to the sale.

  • Please dig as soon as you can so that the plants look healthy and are not limp
  • If you do not have a garden, please donate an unusual perennial or two from one of our local nurseries.
  • Please label your donations with plant name, color and planting preferences (light, soil, moisture, etc.) A photo would be helpful.
  • All plants must be delivered before 7:30 am the day of the sale.
  • First shift will help unload the nursery truck. Please be prompt.


Garden Tour

The club will have a garden tour every few years. The gardens may be a mix of both members and non-members gardens. There are typically 6-10 gardens. The proceeds from the tour will be used to support civic projects.

Because of the complexity of this event, planning should be started at least one year prior to the date of the tour. Organizers must first identify the gardens to be included. Publicity should be started about 3-6 months prior. Tickets may be sold through local businesses.

As with all fundraising events, the garden tour requires the full support of our members. A vital part is acting as a host at a garden. We need two people at each garden to check tickets and provide information on the garden. Members also should help promote the tour and sell tickets.



  • Plan the hospitality at each program meeting
  • Coordinate with the Hospitality chair to access available supplies
  • Communicate duties to the co-hosts
  • Make sure that everything runs smoothly


  • Arrive at least one-half hour early to set up the tables, chairs and refreshments
  • Act as a greeter at the door; take coats and direct members to the meeting location
  • Aprons and pins should be worn
  • Clean up after refreshments are served
  • Find a replacement if she/he is not able to serve on the date assigned

Hospitality Checklist

  • Flowers for food table
  • Tablecloths
  • Paper goods (plates, napkins, flatware)
  • Beverages (decaffeinated coffee, tea, water, punch, etc.)
  • If wine is served, a non-alcoholic beverage must be provided
  • Wine may be purchased with club funds with board approval
  • A selection of sweet and savory finger foods


  • Active members – $35.00
  • New members joining January 1 through April 30 — $17.50
  • New members joining May 1 through June 30 — no charge (until the new fiscal year)
  • Associate members – $45.00


Club presidents should be notified if a member experiences a significant life event and wishes to share the information with the club.  It is important to obtain the permission of either the member or her/his family before this information is given to anyone.

  • Club member death – a card will be sent to the family, and the next Arbor Day tree will be dedicated in the member’s memory, with an accompanying ceremony. Mention of this upcoming ceremony should be made in the card and the newsletter.
  • Member’s spouse or child death – a card will be sent with an appropriate $25 acknowledgement will be sent to the member.
  • All other situations – a card will be sent to the member (death of a member’s parent or sibling, wedding of a member, birth of a child to a member, and serious illness or serious surgery to a member).

EMAIL LIST____________________________________________

The club’s Google group email address shall be considered private information within the club.  It was established to disseminate club information and events, including the national, regional and state garden club organizations, and for garden club business, general nature-related issues and questions.  It may not be sold or used for political purposes, to solicit for organizations, money or goods, or to advertise personal and private businesses.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS_____________________________________

A complete job description of all committees can be found on the club website, http://www.hollistongardenclub.org, under Job Summaries.  The current chairmen of each committee shall review the e-job summary to be sure the information is up to date and submit any changes to the website chairman.


Dorothy B. Stevens Scholarship Guidelines
The following are guidelines for the annual Dorothy B. Stevens Holliston Garden Club Scholarship which will be administered by the scholarship committee. This committee is made up of three active members; two will be elected by the club at the February business meeting.

  • The applicant must be a Holliston resident.
  • High school seniors will be given priority. Applicants already in college will be considered.
  • Applicants taking courses in horticulture, botany, landscape design, forestry, environmental sciences, land management, and fields related to gardening in its widest aspect will be given priority.
  • Applicants demonstrating interest in gardening through extra-curricular activities, jobs, clubs, etc., will be given priority.
  • The scholarship will be publicized in March of each year in the MetroWest Daily News (Holliston Column) and by means of a poster at the library and on the high school guidance bulletin board, local channel Cable 8, and the Holliston Garden club website.
  • The amount of this scholarship will be included in the budget.
  • Members who have children applying for the scholarship may not serve on the committee.
  • It is the committee’s decision upon receipt of the application(s) to determine whether or not to give this scholarship, or to divide it among applicants.
  • If necessary, the committee can conduct personal interviews of the applicants.
  • The committee will present the name(s) of the Scholarship applicant(s) they have chosen at the next board meeting following the Scholarship/Grant meeting. 

Education Grant
The Scholarship committee is responsible for an annual grant for the projects that educate Holliston students on horticulture and gardening. The decision to offer this grant will be made by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) and will be dependent on the availability of money.  This grant shall be publicized in the same way as the scholarship. The name(s) of the proposed grant recipient(s) will be presented to the board for approval before being awarded.

MEMBER RESOURCES________________________________

Membership in the Holliston Garden Club provides the opportunity to pursue and develop interests in gardening, landscape design and floral design through our parent organization, the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts (GCFM). The GCFM offers workshops, courses, lectures, and demonstrations designed to educate and inform its members.

GCFM Schools

The GCFM offers schools in four areas of study: Garden Study, Landscape Design, Environmental Study, and Flower Show School. All are accredited by National Garden Clubs, Inc. In each school, four sequenced courses comprise one series. Each course is offered once a year and consists of approximately ten hours of lectures taught by National Garden Club–approved instructors. Courses may be attended out of sequence. A written examination is given at the completion of each of the four courses.

Garden Study School provides basic garden information. Classes in botany, soil science, pruning, vegetable and flower gardening, house plants, seed saving, and more provide students with the information needed to achieve success as they develop a deeper understanding of the interrelated nature of plants and the environment. Successful completion of two courses qualifies the student to join the Garden Study Council as a provisional member. Upon completion of all four courses, a student is designated an NGC Accredited Garden Study Consultant.

Landscape Design School provides an extensive overview of landscape design and its history. Some of the topics addressed include the landscape design process, elements and principles of design, site development, plant selection, city planning and historic preservation. Successful completion of two courses qualifies the student to join the Landscape Design Council as a provisional member. Upon completion of all four courses, a student is designated an NGC Accredited Landscape Design Consultant.

Environmental Study School covers all aspects of environmental issues and is designed to outline positive actions that enable us all to be good stewards of the land. Successful completion of two courses qualifies the student to join the Environmental Study Council as a provisional member. Upon completion of all four courses, a student is designated a NGC Accredited Environmental Consultant.

As a provisional member of any of the above councils, students are eligible to participate in any of that council’s activities, such as lectures, trips, workshops, etc.

Flower Show School is a complete program for growing, staging, showing, and judging horticulture and floral design. Horticulture instruction includes both basic gardening techniques for growing superior specimens and the judging criteria for specific types of horticulture, such as daffodils, needled evergreens, African violets, perennials, etc. Design instruction covers floral arrangements from traditional to contemporary using the elements and principles of design and the National Garden Club’s Handbook for Flower Shows. While the primary purpose of the school is to educate those wishing to become judges, anyone wishing to enter design or horticulture in flower shows certainly will benefit. Successful completion of three courses qualifies the student to become a Student Judge and a provisional member of the Judge’s Council. Upon completion of four courses, the student is eligible to become a full member.

The above schools require a fee and advance registration. Students are also required to subscribe to The National Gardener, the quarterly journal of the NGC.

GCFM Workshops and Lectures

In addition to the schools described above, the GCFM also offers workshops, lectures, and demonstrations on an annual basis. All are currently held at the Espousal Center in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Back to Basics is a series of three lectures/demonstrations on flower arranging that features Massachusetts designers demonstrating techniques and offering tips in an interactive design experience.

Design Workshop is a series of four hands-on workshops for beginning to intermediate flower arrangers. All attendees receive the same container and flowers and create a design with instruction from the speaker. Registration begins in late spring / early summer, space is limited to 90 people, and the fee is $125, which includes all materials and instruction.

Horticultural Mornings are lectures offered three times per year on topics ranging from landscape design, to gardening, to invasive plants. Advance registration for each is usually required, and there is often a small fee.

The GCFM also offers workshops on awards (explaining the awards that are available for clubs and the application process), programs (a venue where club program Chairmen can meet with potential speakers), and civic development. Additionally, programs and workshops of interest are offered during the year on a variety of topics.

Throughout the year, Holliston Garden Club members receive online issues of The Mayflower (the newsletter of the GCFM).  Registration forms for all the schools and programs listed above, as well as a calendar of events, listings of flower shows to attend or enter, news of club activities in districts within the state, national news, and advertisements of interest to subscribers are all available in the Mayflower and on the GCFM website www.gcfm.org.

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