Armed with ladders, hammers and carloads of greenery, more than 30 volunteers from the Branford Garden Club set out yesterday morning to hang holiday cheer around town.
In its 10th season, the Garden Club’s Eunice Lasala who had her wood-panel station wagon filled to the ceiling with holiday decorations yesterday was happy to share the history of the beautification project. Launched with just nine planters 10 years ago to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Garden Club, the holiday baskets came about as a last-minute idea Lasala explained. The baskets, which were hung for the first time in the spring, were home to summer flowers and plants. The first winter they were up, Lasala said the plants were dead and the baskets needed a makeover. “We had to use ice picks and screwdrivers to break the ice,” she recalled to add the holiday greens to the hanging baskets the first year.
This year, there are more 32 baskets hanging from the town light poles around the Green giving our downtown a real “It’s a Wonderful Life” feel. There are also three large planters decorated by the Garden Club at the rotary past the high school.
In a grassroots effort, the Garden Club member knocked on local businesses’ doors and offered to decorate windows. Be sure to take notice when you stroll by this Saturday for the tree lighting.
The greens used to fill the baskets, which feature pine, spruce and holly, are mostly collected from the , explained Lasala. All greens are donated from the transfer station or people’s yards and the only cost to decorate the downtown are the red ribbons that highlight the holiday baskets.
The Garden Club will be using leftover greens to create wreaths for Branford Town Hall, Branford Parks & Recreation Department, Community Dining Room and the James Blackstone Memorial Library this coming monday, Nov. 28, at 9:30 a.m. at Parks & Rec. Volunteers are welcome to help. They will hang the wreaths on the library later that afternoon.
Do you think the holiday basekets add cheer to downtown?