Adams Shore Library Indoor Succulent Gardens


WGC presents Thomas Crane Library with books & poster

Library and Garden Club Celebrates Horticulture Exhibit at Adams Shore Library


On Wednesday, June 27th members of the community joined with Thomas Crane Library Staff, and Wollaston Garden Club members to dedicate and celebrate the Indoor Succulent Gardens and Design Vignettes at the Adams Shore Branch Library located on Sea Street. A short program describing the goals, history and process of the project was held with remarks from WGC President, Pat, Artis, WGC President-Elect Jan Clifford, Branch Librarian, Lori Seagraber, and TCL Director, Harry Williams III. Clifford presented the branch library with two resource books on succulents.


The four atrium lobby windows have long been a challenging area since the library was built; in the summer the windows allow for a lot of light, but in the winter, the area becomes quite cold. Branch librarian, Lori Seagraber had tried many plant options, but with the library’s opened hours reduced so much – those window areas became very cold in the winter months, and plant survival minimal. Lori spoke about her desire to beautify the area with plant material with library volunteer and long time garden club member, Marylyn Sullivan. Sullivan organized a horticulture study group from the garden club and the group decided to plant hardy succulents. Plants and plant stands were donated by club members and other materials were purchased from the club’s civic beautification/horticulture budgets. Members of the study group were Liz Adamson, Kay Borek, Jan Clifford, Anita Fasano, Fran Guida, Elaine McGrail, John Reed, Leah Shea, and Marylynn Sullivan.


The indoor succulent gardens were planted in the spring of 2011 on the south side of the atrium and two design vignettes incorporating reading themes and plant material on the north side. A journal/log was kept during the summer, fall, and winter, to help understand the watering needs and other conditions affecting the plants. At the dedication ceremony, the study group presented and hung up a permanent educational colorful display poster on succulents for the atrium area.


Library Director, Harry Williams said “this dedication of the indoor gardens at the Branch is such a positive event. The gardens installed and maintained by the Wollaston Garden Club are a wonderful aesthetic and educational resource for everyone who uses the Branch, particularly young people” and Seagraber commented about “how much the library patrons have enjoyed the plant exhibit.” The Wollaston Garden Club is a member since 1931 of the The National Garden Clubs, Inc and The Garden Club Federation Of Massachusetts, Inc.

Elaine, Kay, Marylynn, Fran, Liz, Lori & Jan

Succulent Gardens at the Admas Shore Branch Library


In March of 2011, the librarian at the Adams Shore Branch asked MaryLynn Sullivan, a garden club member who volunteers one day a week at the library, for some assistance in improving the looks of the four large window areas.  Everything that was there was dying or dead; and she was finding it difficult to find plants that would survive in the environment, especially since the library is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the size of the windows adds to the heat in summer and the cold in winter. MaryLynn thought of succulents as a possible candidate because of ease of care and number of varieties.  She enlisted my help, and we asked Pat Artis the best way to go about it.  Pat suggested asking the club for volunteers to work on the project, and donations of any cactus or succulents that they might have.  The following people responded--John Reed, Anita Fasano, Fran Guida, Liz Adamson, Elaine McGrail, Leah Shea, in addition to MaryLynn and Jan Clifford.


We met for a planning session in April and decided to do the front two windows (facing north) as educational themes.  One holds a child's rocking chair, birch trees (real), books and geraniums, in addition to a birdhouse. The other holds a child's desk, books and pencils, and several plants.  For the back two windows, facing south, we used a desert theme--one window contains a multi-tiered plant stand filled with succulents, a large strawberry jar, also filled with succulents, and several individual pots.  The fourth window contains a rock garden, multi tiered pot with succulents, tall plant stand, sand and lava rocks, and several dish gardens.  The cactus can be used to educate the children on the various varieties of succulents available, as well as the care of such plants.  As an added bonus, a whiskey barrel planter that stood empty in one of the windows was brought outside and planted with various annuals.


The group had been getting together on Thursdays during April and early May, and people were also encouraged to come as they were able on other days the library was open, so we didn't usually have all 8 of us there at the same time after the initial meeting.  However, we worked well as a team, and kept one another informed as to the progress of each window, so that today, a few of us were able to go in. and put the finishing touches on the windows in a fairly short time.


We have also decided the importance of creating a Maintenance Journal, since there are so many plants all newly planted with a number of different watering needs. Before a formal dedication occurs; the group will create an educational display identifying the plants used, and the names of the Wollaston Garden Club members who worked on the project. People have been stopping to admire the work throughout the project, and everyone has been pleased with the results.