Marion Garden Group greens are gone in a flash

Dec 8, 2018

MARION — Before the Marion Garden Group’s Holiday Boutique even opened, patrons lined up outside, eager to scoop up the best holiday decorations.

After an hour, three long tables of decorations were empty, and garden group volunteers worked to consolidate wreaths and ornaments for eager buyers to see. 

The Saturday event has been happening for more than 20 years, and “every year it seems to get busier,” observed Garden Group member Kathy Seeney.

The garden group donates the time and materials to make the decorations sold at the boutique, which may be either seasonal or beach-themed.

“We started in September this year, and it was a weekly effort, but next year we plan to start in February,” said Liz Hatch, one of the boutique’s organizers.

The last seven to ten days before the Dec. 8 boutique, known as “Greens Week,” are particularly intense. During that time, the garden group gets in all of the greens that they need and assemble the 160 wreaths. 

The Garden Group considers the event its main fundraiser. “The money raised goes to all of the garden group efforts: window boxes, scholarships, beautification projects,” Hatch said.

Apart from Greens Week, the Garden Group primarily makes the goods at workshops led by various garden group members.

Sylvia Strand has served as a flower show judge in the past, and helps with teaching some of the workshops.

“I love to be able to educate their eyes to see, so that they can stretch and do things that they couldn’t before. And so that they can apply what they learn in their own homes,” Strand said of teaching the other members.

The collection of beautiful decorations makes the Music Hall stand out during the boutique. But Strand says it is even lovelier the night before the sale, during a preview party for garden group members and their families.

“You should have seen it last night. We dimmed the overhead lights and it was just all the little lights… The only word for it was magical,” said Strand.