Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 7 PM in the First Church Unitarian, Lancaster, MA unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming events

    • 16 Dec 2018

    Poinsettias at Christmas

    Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as 'Taxco del Alarcon' where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers. (Today we call the sap latex!)

    The poinsettia was made widely known because of a man called Joel Roberts Poinsett (that's why we call them Poinsettia!). He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina, and while visiting the Taco area in 1828, he became very interested in the plants. He immediately sent some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

    One of the friends he sent plants to was John Bartram of Philadelphia. At the first Philadelphia flower show, Robert Buist, a plants-man from Pennsylvania saw the flower and he was probably the first person to have sold the poinsettias under their botanical, or latin name, name 'Euphorbia pulcherrima' (it means, 'the most beautiful Euphorbia'). They were first sold as cut flowers. It was only in the early 1900s that they were sold as whole plants for landscaping and pot plants. The Ecke family from Southern California were one of, if not, the first to sell them as whole plants and they're still the main producer of the plants in the USA. It is thought that they became known as Poinsettia in the mid 1830s when people found out who had first brought them to America from Mexico.

    There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together, it goes like this:

    There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up.

    'Pepita', he said "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."

    Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.

    The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.

    The Poinsettia is also the national emblem of Madagascar.

    To learn about caring for Poinsettia plants, visit the Poinsettia profile on the Royal Horticultural Society's website

    • 20 Jan 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • First Church of Christ Unitarian, 725 Main Street, Lancaster, MA

    Join us for PETS & PLANTS, an informative lecture presented by April Daley on Sunday, January 20th, at 7PM in the First Church Unitarian on the Lancaster town green. Free for members. $5 for non-members.

    Whether your pet is a cat, dog, chicken, or "other," your pet has the potential to be exposed to your plants indoors, outdoors, or both. There are many sources of information about plant toxicity but they can often conflict with each other. This presentation will help you to understand what "toxic" and "poisonous" mean to your pets and will provide you with a method to evaluate the pet, the plant, and as horticultural practices to assess how much risk is involved in each situation. 

    April Daley is a Massachusetts Master Gardener and former veterinary nurse. Her credits include 10 years in Emergency and Critical Care and Wildlife Rehabilitator, past Education Coordinator and President of MMGA, Keeper of the Bressingham Garden, Education Coordinator for Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Volunteer Coordinator and Environmental Educator for Mass Audubon Society, and lead gardener in a fine garden maintenance business. April has an Advanced Master Gardener Certificate in Weed Ecology. She currently lives and gardens on an acre+ property with a small flock of chickens and two rescue dogs.

    • 17 Feb 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • First Church of Christ Unitarian, 725 Main St., Lancaster, MA

    "The Politics and Growing of a Plant.”  Eric Schwartz to speak on the issues of cannabis growing as well as the challenges of a small marijuana business & his experience with home growing. Marcia Tucci is a cannabis cultivator and will speak on the intricacies of growing cannabis. Eric and Marcia come to us from the organization, Farm Bug Co-op. More to come.  

    • 17 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • First Church of Christ Unitarian, 725 Main St., Lancaster, MA

    Water Smart Gardening: One year we have lots of rain, another year (or two in a row) we have drought. In a time of water bans, how do you build a garden to survive the too wet seasons as well as the too dry? We will discuss the right way to water (yes, there are wrong ways) and why sprinkler systems can be as bad for your plants as they are for your wallet.   

    Betty Sanders is a widely recognized speaker on gardening and environmental subjects. She has lectured at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Massachusetts Horticutural Society, the Boston Flower Show, and at numerous garden clubs and civic groups throughout New England. A Lifetime Master Gardener, she is also a nationally accredited floral design judge.  Her gardens have been open for the Garden Conservancy Garden Tour.

    Betty examined her two acre home garden, she realized that the maintenance and upkeep was beginning to exceed the time and energy she had to give to it.  Thinking back on the gardens she had constructed as a ‘corporate gypsy’ she realized that our gardens need to change as our lives do, even if we stay in the same place.  Her latest garden, built to accompany their retirement dream home, is lawn free, two acres with a very heavy emphasis on native plants.  

    Wherever she is working in the garden, Betty considers it vital to eliminate virtually all herbicides and pesticides, respect the soil and encourage the use of more native plants in our landscapes.   Her ‘Horticultural Hints’ appear monthly in the Mass Hort Leaflet magazine and on her website,

    • 28 Apr 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • First Church of Christ Unitarian, 725 Main St., Lancaster, MA

    Propagation: This presentation provides an overview of the methods of sexual and asexual plant propagation. It includes a discussion of seed collection, plant breeding, and nomenclature and a description of several methods of asexual propagation, such as division, cuttings, layering, grafting, and cell culture.  Waiting confirmation.

    • 25 May 2019
    • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Town Green


    • 09 Jun 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • First Church of Christ Unitarian, 725 Main St., Lancaster, MA

    Not all insects are bad for the garden. In fact, we rely on many to rid us of other unwanted invaders. This presentation describes some of the common beneficial and pest insects that gardeners encounter in New England. We will take a look their habits and their lifecycles as we discuss how their presence affects the success of our garden year.  

    Bonnie Power, has an MA in Zoology from Boston University and taught college level science courses for over twelve years before leaving teaching for industry. After she retired she began taking courses to augment her love of gardening by working on certification at Garden in the Woods in Framingham and by becoming a certified Master Gardener in the fall of 2016. In 2015 she began volunteering on a Facebook page for insect identification and began learning about insects. Out of these experiences she developed a talk aimed at gardeners to acquaint them with beneficial and pest species of insects and other arthropods.

Past events

21 Oct 2018 SEED SAVING
16 Sep 2018 The Fabulous Fall Garden: Tour Garden in the Burrow
16 Jun 2018 Lancaster Garden Club Annual Meeting
26 May 2018 Annual Plant Sale 2018
06 May 2018 Garden in the Woods Tour
05 May 2018 2018 Plant Sale Volunteers and Donations
18 Mar 2018 The Spring Garden
18 Feb 2018 Camellia Tour
03 Dec 2017 SWAG Workshop
17 Jun 2017 Foraging Walk with Russ Cohen
13 May 2017 Spring Clean Up Days
23 Apr 2017 Easy Rose Gardening
19 Mar 2017 50 Great Natives for Spring Gardens
19 Feb 2017 Orchids 101
15 Jan 2017 The Art & Science of Pruning
04 Dec 2016 Holiday Boxwood Tree Workshop
20 Nov 2016 Beekeeping
16 Oct 2016 Bulb Forcing Workshop
01 Oct 2016 2016 Annual Bulb Sale
25 Sep 2016 Confessions of a Seed Snatcher
27 Aug 2016 Late Summer Glories - Planning the Late Summer Garden
25 Jun 2016 Annual Meeting Featuring a Wine & Cheese Tasting
05 Jun 2016 Garden Tours: Marcia Croyle Garden & Healing Garden
28 May 2016 Annual Plant Sale
17 Apr 2016 Iris: The Greek Goddess of the Rainbow
20 Mar 2016 Fire Engine Red, Russet, and Bronze: A Look at Trees and Shrubs for Fall Color
21 Feb 2016 Camellia Tour
17 Jan 2016 Water Features in the Garden
13 Dec 2015 Holiday Centerpiece Workshop
15 Nov 2015 Best New Varieties for 2016
18 Oct 2015 Succulent Workshop with Art Scarpa
20 Sep 2015 Insects in the Garden: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
19 Jul 2015 July - Tour of Ellen Hornig's Woodland Garden
14 Jun 2015 June - LGC Annual Meeting and Flowering Shrubs Presentation by Kerry Ann Mendez (Joint meeting with the Sterling Garden Club)
23 May 2015 2015 Plant Sale Volunteers and Donations
16 May 2015 May - Trip to Garden Visions
19 Apr 2015 April - Rock Gardens
12 Apr 2015 April - LGC Board Meeting
21 Mar 2015 March - LGC Board Meeting
15 Mar 2015 March - Seed Starting Workshop
15 Feb 2015 February - Ikebana Workshop by Gail Allo


Lancaster Garden Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Massachusetts, P.O. Box 22, South Lancaster, Massachusetts 01561

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