Community Outreach


Civic Beautification:  A budget of $600 has been designated this year for projects under this classification.  Involvement with the Zwaanendael Museum, a historic building site, will continue.  In December, Dianne Shawley (chairman) with a group of dedicated volunteers will decorate the museum for the holidays.  We return in April with floral designs for the annual Lewes “Tulip Celebration”.  We will maintain the recently planted garden at the Rehoboth Beach Museum under the supervision of Janet Point, and will continue to explore new projects. 


Holiday Projects:  In support of Meals on Wheels, Carolyn Walsmith and the Sussex Gardeners’ elves will assemble and decorate nosegays that are used to garnish the trays of the recipients.   In conjunction with this production, wreaths are fabricated by our members from club-donated greens.  After adornment with ribbons and holiday embellishments, the wreaths are donated to Gull House, Rehoboth Library and Troop #7 Police Barracks. Total budget is $400.


Garden Therapy: Gull House, an adult day care center operated by Beebe Medical Center, continues to be a focus for Garden Therapy. On the second Friday of each month, members assist and encourage the clients to create their individual floral arrangements with the greens and flowers Sussex Gardeners provide. As many as 35 participants enjoy this activity and have the added bonus of taking their treasures home. The Moorings at Cadbury, an assisted-living facility in Lewes, calls on Sussex Gardeners four to six times annually to instruct the residents on seasonal floral arrangements. Anne Lyons and Judith Pinsdorf co-chair these endeavors with teams of 10-15 club members.



Rehoboth Art League Cottage Tour:  Sussex Gardeners have been involved with the Art League since the 1950s.  Floral arrangements inspired by the designated “cottage” are made and donated by club members.  This annual two day July event also requires staffing of 30 docents from our club to guide the twelve hundred visitors on their tour.  Nancy Tompkins and Ann Case are the Co-Chairs.  Budget is $100.


Website and Facebook Page:  Marty Last created and maintains both sites for the garden club.  The website provides information about our monthly programs and projects.  The Facebook page offers updates on programs and events of interest to club members and garden enthusiasts. Both sites continue to evolve and garner more followers.


Paying it forward:  Sussex Gardeners evaluates various worthy programs to offer financial support, including contributions to the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek. The club has created a scholarship for Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation, Jack F. Owens Campus, for students in any Agriculture-related curriculum with a preference in Landscape & Ornamental Horticulture.

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1937                  Nassau Garden Committee organized with eight members.

1939                  Nassau Garden Group Reorganized with twenty-four active members.

1947                  Nassau Garden Group renamed Sussex Gardeners.

1947                  Sussex Gardeners held their first Standard Flower Show.

1948                 All Day Greens Meeting held in basement of Rehoboth Methodist Church to make wreaths.for churches, homes,

                        and members.

1954                 Garden Therapy Project at Stockley Hospital began.  The project continued for over the next fifty years.

1958                  Sussex Gardeners joined the newly formed Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs.

966                  Sussex Gardeners printed the Delaware Wildflower Book.

1987                  Sussex Gardeners celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

1994                 Sussex Gardeners decorated the dining room at the Governor’s Mansion for the holidays.

1997                 Elva Davidson was elected as the first Sussex Gardeners member to be President of DFGC.

2001                  “Yummm” cookbook was produced as a special fundraising project.

2009                  “Saluting our Police” garden completed at DE State Police Troop 7, Lewes.

2014                 Sussex Gardeners created and dedicated a Memorial Garden

2017                  Sussex Gardeners celebrated their 80th Anniversary





To bring together, through membership in the organization, the members of the community who have a genuine

interest in gardening and related skills.


To study and advance the fine art of gardening, landscape design, floral design and horticulture.


To aid in the conservation and protection of our natural resources.


To promote the educational aspect of gardening in youth groups.


To further garden therapy programs.


To encourage civic beautification.


To cooperate and assist in the objectives of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs (DFGC), the Central Atlantic

Region of State Garden Clubs, Inc. (CAR-SGC) and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC).