A Growing Tradition
Tags: Ethel Barckley Park, Linda Pinto, local, love, Milford Community Garden, Milford Rose, Pike County, white
Milford Garden Club
The roots of the Milford Garden Club go back to the first meeting in 1937. Since then, the club has bloomed into a civic organization that supports beautification efforts throughout Milford (Pike County).
The 80-member club meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Presbyterian Church in Milford. Topics include herbal cooking, gardening photography and flower arranging. Kathe Brannon, president of the club, touts the all-inclusive nature of the group. “We welcome women and men with a love of the garden. Whether you are the gardener who loves to be digging in the earth or the flower designer with white gloves.” The Milford Garden Club is comprised of individuals who share a love of plants and gardening, civic beautification and conservation of resources. Community activities include planting and maintaining planters and flower boxes throughout town, maintenance of the Ethel Barckley Park, Remembrance Place and the Dimmick Cemetery plus planting and maintaining three triangles that serve as welcome points along roads entering Milford Borough.
Club members also originated and maintain the Milford Community Garden. Located next to the Milford Township Building, the garden began as an idea at a monthly meeting. Ralph and Linda Pinto wanted something new to help the community. The garden now benefits six local churches by providing fresh produce to those in need. The Pintos paired up with local businesses like Grey Towers Water to deliver food to local food pantries. The garden provides tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, potatoes, peas, string beans and other popular vegetables. The garden yields approximately 500 pounds of produce each year. The food is packaged by the Garden Club on Thursday night and delivered to local food pantries on Friday morning. The packaging often includes fresh flowers, recipes and directions on how to use the various spices and foods. The garden is well kept with 15 to 20 volunteers.
The Club hosts two major annual events– a Flower Show in August and a Secret Garden Tour. Held each July, The Secret Garden Tour features between five and seven private gardens throughout town. Locations of the garden remain a secret until the day of the tour. Gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers flock to Milford for the self-guided, one-day tour. Happenings had the chance to tour some of the gardens featured on the 2016 tour. On the following pages, take a closer look at the fruits of the labor from some passionate gardeners in Pike County. Visit www.milfordgardenclub.com
Upcoming Garden Club Events
April 23-25, 87th Annual Convention of the Garden Club Federation of PA, Shawnee Inn
May 20, Annual Perennial Plant Sale
July 15, Secret Garden Tour
Legend of the Milford Rose
The club adopted an emblem with a unique history tied to their hometown. The Milford Rose is purported to be a descendant of a bloom from the fields of Grass in the South of France. It’s believed French émigrés carried the rose to the United States when fleeing their homeland during the French Revolution. Edgar Pinchot is credited with bringing the beauty to Pennsylvania. According to reports, a cutting from a rose bush from a family friend in New York City was gifted to Pinchot in the early 1800s. He planted the cutting at the family’s homestead (the present-day Milford Community House) where it thrived. Cuttings were then distributed generously to many other Milford citizens, traditionally always as a gift. The Milford Garden Club continues that tradition. Today the Milford Rose is a symbol of strength, tenacity, beauty and generosity. The rose’s blossoms are three to four inches across, opening an exquisite pink and fading to white. It has long swaying branches with ruffled double petals, with clusters of two to five deep red buds surrounding the bloom.