On July 12, 1924, a group of women met at the home of Mrs. Louis Allyn to discuss forming a club to study the natural environment. A week later thirty interested women elected an executive board: President, Mrs. Louis P. Allyn; Vice President, Mrs. H.M. Stanton; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Odell Thompson; plus Mrs. George S.B. Leonard and Miss Rachel Burnett to plan meetings and programs. Informal weekly meetings were held at members’ homes and gardens and on August 15, 1925 they selected the name The Mystic Garden Club. The Mystic Garden Club is one of the oldest clubs in Connecticut. Starting with 30 members, the club has grown to 65 Active, 26 Associate and 5 Honorary members.
Our first flower show was held in 1930 at the Mystic & Noank Library. Since then we have held many flower shows and house and garden tours, which have won numerous State, and National awards. Profits from our shows have helped to landscape Williams Beach, the Mystic Depot, Mystic Community Center, Mystic Art Association, Portersville Academy, Mystic River Homes, Mystic & Noank Library and the Chester Latham Store in Noank.
In 1936 the club planted trees, first along Willow Street and Broadway and later along Noank Road, Water Street, Main Street, Seaport Heights and Ocean View Avenue. We planted trees in collaboration with the Stonington Garden Club and the Stonington Conservation Commission as well as on publicly accessible property on the Groton side of Mystic. In 1940 the Garden Club established a shelf of gardening books at the Library to which we still contribute. For 33 years we have provided plants for the Mystic & Noank Library Fair. In 1946 we helped found the Pequot Wildlife Sanctuary, now called the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. We continue to support the Center with a portion of the profits from the Greens Sale, our annual fundraising project.
Early in the 1970’s we started a Garden Therapy program at a local nursing home with monthly horticulture or flower arranging sessions with the residents. We also purchased and maintain planter boxes in downtown Mystic. We provide flower arrangements for houses on the house tours sponsored by the Mystic River Historical Society. All these activities are still supported by the Garden Club.
Since 1979, over $450,000.00 has been donated to various organizations such as the Connecticut College Arboretum, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Avalonia Land Trust, Nature Conservancy, Thames Science Center, the Mystic Flag Committee, The Denison Society, Lower Mystic Cemetery, Mystic Arts Center, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Jabez Smith House, Mystic & Noank Library and the Mystic Depot Tourist Information Center. Our members include one accredited Landscape Design Critic, seven Master Gardeners, and one National Daffodil Judge. In our 90th year of existence, we remain proud to be members of the Mystic Garden Club.