In 1997, a group of eight women answered a notice in the paper to share information and learn from each other about gardening on Cape Cod. This group was led by Yvonne Kirshaw and Helen Knollmeyer. They decided to call themselves Sandwich Gardeners. In September 1998, they met and elected Yvonne as their first President. These first meetings were held in various homes with any speaker of interest that was free as they had little money, but a great thirst for knowledge to get their new gardens growing on this sandy, shady, clay soil that we know as Cape Cod.
Their statement of purpose was that they were an interactive civic minded club, with a growing membership. The aim was to stimulate friendships, knowledge and the love of gardening, as well as to cooperate with town agencies to enhance the beauty of the Town of Sandwich.
As part of their statement of purpose, they planted and maintained the 17th Century Herb Garden at the Hoxie House and have designed and maintained the garden at the Council on Aging as a memorial garden with the bench dedicated to one of the founders Margaret (Peg) Gridley. They also maintained the garden at the Information Booth on Rte. 130.
The club’s membership declined and in 2006 Karen Slavens became the President and proceeded to rebuild the club to where it is today. In 2009 the name was changed to Sandwich Garden Club and they became a non-profit corporation.
Today our membership is around 65 to 70 and is growing each year. The primary money making event is our yearly Plant Sale at the end of May or early June.
The members provide the plants and the sale is very successful, enabling the club to give donations to organizations such as, the Green Briar Nature Center, passes at the Sandwich Library, and miscellaneous donations made during the year.
Meetings are held on the first Sunday of each month (unless falling on a holiday weekend) during the months of September through May. Meetings are at various locations.
Yvonne Kirshaw passed away on December 21, 2013. Yvonne was a founding member and the first president of the Sandwich Garden Club.