The Osewantha Garden Club hosted its annual cleanup at Southern Maine Community College’s Old Settlers Cemetery. From left are Debbie Fuller, historian, Natalie West, membership chair, and Lois Willis. president. Courtesy photo/Frank Maguire

SOUTH PORTLAND — The Osewantha Garden Club South Portland hosted its annual cleanup at Southern Maine Community College on Monday, May 23, at the Old Settlers Cemetery. 

Every year around this time, club members go into the cemetery to clean it up, trim the bushes, and plant different gardens. All summer long, club members go in every week, water the gardens, and maintain the cemetery. 

A member of the Osewantha Garden Club South Portland, Frank Maguire, said that the club took over sponsoring the cemetery a few years ago. It has become the club’s community service project, he said.

“Willard Beach at the Southern Maine Community College property started in the 1600s when the first settlers lived in that area of South Portland,” said Maguire. “There are only really two or three real gravestones in there, but a lot of rocks that were used over the last 300 years. People that lived in that area and that was their cemetery.” 

Osewantha Garden Club South Portland will hold its annual plant sale on June 11. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, at Mill Creek Shopping Center, outside Shoppers Hardware, at the plaza.

Perennial plants from local gardens are offered by members of the club, along with advice about growing them if needed.


“We have this sale every year for the community,” said Maguire. “Mill Creek Shoppers Hardware allows us to use the plaza in front of their store for the annual plant sale. Members take annual, perennial plant roots from their gardens and bring in numerous tables full of plants that the community comes in and buys at pretty good prices. The money raised supports the programs we do throughout the year.”  

Osewantha Garden Club was established in 1934 as a part of the Garden Club Federation of Maine and continues its program promoting educational and community-based projects in South Portland. The monthly meetings emphasize good gardening practices and community service projects. 

The club meets on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Portland Community Center at 1 p.m. The meetings are open to the public. They often feature speakers who talk about various topics, including teaching members about endangered species, getting rid of the bugs on a lawn, or improving wildlife.  

“The monthly meetings all involve anything to do with gardening, plants, animals, gardens, and lawns that sort of topic,” Maguire said. “There are garden clubs in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, and Scarborough. There are separate garden clubs around the community that are all part of the same Garden Club Federation of Maine.”

The Garden Club Federation of Maine operates on a nonprofit basis exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. It provides tools to educate their members and the public on many issues, including conservation, environmental, and other garden-related topics. 

For information on the club, visit

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