At the annual Fall Conference of the Garden Club Federation of Maine, the Camden Garden Club was thrilled to receive the Cornelia Williamson Watson Award for Historic Preservation in recognition of their renovation of the Camden Village Green planting beds.

All member garden clubs in New England are eligible for the award, so it was quite an honor, according to club president Ann Vanosdol.

As their centennial gift to the town, the club collaborated with Kath Holland of Blue Newt Landscape Designs on a Village Green refurbishment project. The resulting plan was reviewed and approved by Camden Historical Resources Commission and the town’s Board of Selectmen. The work began in October 2015 with the removal of a number of Chinese Junipers that had been distorted over the years by heavy snow, and some small rhododendrons that were declining due to stress and infestation. Replacements included shrubs that would flower at different times of the season and also require less maintenance. The final phase of planting was completed this spring.

The plot of land at the corner of Elm and Chestnut streets in Camden, known as the Village Green, was purchased by Mary Louise Curtis Bok, Cyrus K. Curtis, John Gribbel and Chauncy Keep and given to the town in 1927. Since that date it has been treasured by hundreds of people and dozens of organizations and the border beds have been cared for primarily by the Camden Garden Club. The preservation award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the group’s dedication. Camden Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club Federation of Maine and National Garden Clubs, Inc.