Chester Garden Club is a not-for-profit organization whose members are a group of Chester-area residents, who are interested in gardens and gardening-related activities, both horticulture and design. The Chester Garden Club is a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs.
Our Activities and Responsibilities
The aims of this club are to stimulate a knowledge and love of gardening and to encourage and aid in the beautification of Chester through horticulture. In addition to presenting interesting speakers and workshops, the club is responsible for maintaining the plantings in two public green spaces in the Village of Chester.
These are the garden at the village Parade Square, which is owned by the municipality; and the Cove Garden, which is actually owned by the club itself. Both areas require planting, pruning and weeding, all of which is done by volunteers from the club as part of the member’s commitment to the club.
How it all began…
In 1939, a small group of women founded the club with the aim of beautifying the area. Their first project was to plant a garden and lawn on the Parade Grounds to enhance the surroundings of a bronze statue of a soldier (representing the Nova Scotia Highlander’s Regiment), which had been erected as a war memorial in 1922.
Many years later, changes in the design of the adjacent roadway opened a new space and a Victorian garden was created, quite separate from the war memorial. Members of the club planted the new garden with rugosa roses, bulbs, perennials and a variety of shrubs, and they have continued to maintain it as a focal point of the parade grounds from that time.
A second ambitious project, also started in 1939, was the conversion of the former village dump to what is now known as the Cove Garden. It took several years but those same determined women cleared away all the debris in the dump and also got rid of the vermin that lived there. By layering topsoil onto fill, the women slowly transformed the space into a little park. In 1948, the admiring municipality deeded the land to the Trustees of the Club, and the club has been responsible for its maintenance ever since. The grassy park is bordered by shrubs and rugosa roses and shored up by a stone sea-wall. A plaque on a boulder in the Cove Garden indicates that the park is dedicated “To Gardeners Everywhere”.
Every spring, the Club holds its Gardeners Sale for members and the public, and summer brings the well-attended Flower Show and Tea. The Club also arranges tours to distant gardens and other locations of interest to members. On occasion, the club partners with like-minded groups to work on a project related to ecology and the environment in the area.