Garden Club Awards
Nantucket Settle Into Their
New Home by James Lansing for the Egan Maritime Foundation
For over forty years, the Nantucket Garden Club has visited many of the back roads and home gardens
one is struck not only by its over-all elegance, but also by the benevolent gaze of school founder Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin,
around the island and chosen the best blooms for recognition.
peering out from an ornate, gold-framed portrait mounted on
Over that same time span, the club’s collection of over
the back wall of the stage. The large classic chandelier
20 creatively and traditionally designed awards and trophies
(positioned between the cheerful contemporary globe lamps),
have been seen only by the membership and awardees, mostly
seems to recede into the ceiling, but its glow bathes the room
on the day they have been awarded, and locked away until
in subtle light. Rodney Charman’s vivid narrative paintings of
the next summer; all of that has now changed. The Egan
Nantucket history line both sides of the room, while paintings
Maritime Institute has agreed to house the Garden Club’s
by local artist Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin hang on one side of
hard-earned hardware in the elegant main hall of the
the rear wall. An informative history of the Coffin school
institute’s Coffin School location.
occupies the other, and the entire wall above is dominated by three imposing plaster friezes depicting Greco-Roman scenes,
The imposing 1852 Coffin School, a neo-classical brick
reinforcing the school’s original philosophy that Nantucket
structure on Winter Street, just off Main Street, offers a perfect
children would be immersed in classical history. A grand piano
setting for the Garden Club’s awards. Upon entering the hall,
completes the room’s elegant ambiance.
photo opposite page by Jill Sandole photo on this page courtesy of Nantucket Garden Club
Worker Bee Award The Worker Bee Award is given to a member of the Nantucket Garden Club who has performed many good deeds of service over the years. This award is given to a member who is often working behind the scenes, some one you can always count on to get the job done. This goes to a member who pollinates seeds of good will by being available and willing to engage in club activities that help our club strengthen and grow.
Many hours go into classifying the daffodils for judging. If it were not for the dedicated volunteers, the show would not be the tremendous success that it is!
photos on both pages by Jill Sandole
nantucket garden club awards
Barbara Jones, coordinator of the Garden Club’s 2008
the awards include ivory and gold in many cases, and their
awards, presented the proposal to the Egan Maritime Institute
fragility would be not only an open invitation to theft, but also
in the spring of 2008. It was the club’s idea that the awards
an accident waiting to happen. It was decided that they would
should be available for public viewing, and for the yearly
be placed in locked cases, but that the museum interpreter on
winners to have a place to show their awards to family
duty would always have a key to open the case and allow
members, friends, and seasonal visitors. “Many of our
visitors a better view of the winners and the workmanship.
members have always wanted a home for our awards; they are truly very beautiful.”
The Garden Club’s awards include three categories: the Daffodil Awards, the Green Thumb Awards, and the Annual
Egan Maritime Institute Executive Director Jean Grimmer was
Meeting Awards. The Daffodil Awards are decided during
open to the idea and the process moved forward. Curator
Daffodil Weekend, the official opening of the season on
James Lansing worked out the idea with Jones and found a
Nantucket. The Green Thumb Awards are for over-all beauty
place in the Coffin School’s main hall. “I wanted the trophies
in gardening, while the Annual Meeting Awards are bestowed
and awards out where they would be seen by our visitors. They
on club members who have dedicated themselves to bettering
have beautiful design qualities. However, I was also concerned
their community and the Garden Club. The Annual Meeting
about leaving them out in the open,” Lansing said. Several of
Awards are among the more prestigious recognitions.
Honors Bestowed Laird V. W. Williams Award For the best miniature daffodil in show, given in her memory by her children Polly Warner, Maggie, Peter and Jimmy Finch. A carved miniature daffodil under a 3 1/4” glass dome sits on an 11” sixsided wooden pedestal with names of the winners recorded on ivory medallions. Established in 1993, it has space for 13 more names.
Anne Sanford Award Presented for the best standard daffodil. The award is a 9” Revere-style pewter bowl on a six-sided (5 1⁄2”) mahogany pedestal with 30 oblong ivory plaques with the winner’s name, date, and the name of the bloom. An ivory charm was awarded until 1992. The base reads: James F. Chasebase, Nancy A. Chase-ivory. Established in 1975.
Jean MacAusland Easel For the best flower arrangement given in memory of Mary Armstrong. The 10” mahogany easel with an ivory stretcher has an ivory (7 1⁄4” x 4 7/8“ x 1⁄4”) rectangle which depicts the island and the route of the daffodil day car parade. The border shows many different kinds of daffodils. The back of the ivory rectangle lists the names of the winners. The top of the easel has a small rectangle of ivory which reads: In memory of Mary Armstrong”. It was established in 1975; there are spaces for many more entries.
photos on both pages courtesy of Nantucket Garden Club
nantucket garden club awards
On Only the Best! Jean MacAusland Award For the best collection of five stems. The overall height of the award is 12”. It is a wooden base 5 ½” square, 4 ¼” high with a brass daffodil standing on top. There are brass plaques which have the names of the winners engraved. Established in 1997.
Mary Armstrong Award Presented for the most creative arrangement in memory of Beverly Lindley. A mahogany or rosewood box (3” high x 6” long x 4 ½”deep) with a scrimshawed 4” oval ivory medallion on top decorated with yellow and white daffodils. On the inside of the lid on an ivory plaque (4” x 2 ¾”) is inscribed: “The Mary Armstrong Award for the most creative arrangement in memory of Bev. Lindley”. On the inside of the base names of the winners are inscribed on an ivory plaque. Inscribed on the bottom of the box are the names: Nancy A. Chase 1980 Nantucket Island. Established in 1980.
Twenty-fifth Anniversary Award Given by Mary D. Malavase and awarded for the best collection of three cultivars. The award is a 9” Revere style-silver bowl inscribed: 25th Anniversary Award, Daffodil Flower Show. Names have been inscribed since 1999. The base is inscribed: Given by Mary D. Malavase. visit www.nantucket.org/gardenclub/ to view past winners of these awards
“Best In Show” award for the Junior Flower Show
On reading the names on the trophies, familiar names, past and
The Garden Club trophy and award collection is open to the
present, fill the spaces. The seven Daffodil Awards have been
public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week at the
dominated by Rosemary Howard, Grace Noyes, Lizzy Skokan,
Coffin School. Since the awards are housed in the museum,
Marie Levesque, and Mary Malavase. The ten Green Thumb
there is an admission charge that allows visitors to see the
Awards also have their share of gardeners who have learned to
2009 seasonal exhibit, and the award collection.
communicate with the Nantucket soil; they include Susan Burke, Marilyn Whitney, Christine Wilcox, and Betty Webb. There is
The admission ticket can also be used for admission to the Egan
nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, especially when
Maritime Institute’s Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum,
it leads to the beautiful flowers and gardens these horticulturalists
which is nestled on Folgers Marsh on Polpis Road, a mere 3.5
produce year in, year out. The Annual Award is a one-time
miles outside of Nantucket’s downtown area.
recognition of a member who has furthered the aims of the Nantucket community, along with the Garden Club’s aims and goals.
Visit the Egan Marine Institute (4 Winter Street
to view the entire trophy collection! photo on this page courtesy of Nantucket Garden Club