Moriches Bay Garden Club prepares for new season

Club is ‘always’ seeking new members


The Moriches Bay Garden Club currently has about 30 active members, with plans to expand. It’s not just about flowers, but also about fun and friendship—while also learning and growing, literally and figuratively.

“We are always looking to expand our club,” said first vice president and retired teacher Patti Chieffo, who joined the club just prior to COVID. “You don’t have to be a master gardener to join. You just have to appreciate the beauty everyone can find in our gardens and in nature.”

According to president of the club, Debbie Cannarelli, a retired art teacher at Eastport Elementary School, she always wanted to join the club but was always busy with her career.

“It wasn’t until I retired that I was able to join 16 years ago, at which time my family opened Bay Gardens in East Moriches,” she said of her journey into the club.

Since the Moriches Bay Garden Club was founded in 1974, it has been informing members of the many different aspects of gardening and agriculture.

“It is a hobby, a passion, and a gift,” Cannarelli said. “You plant and get rewarded with beauty, shade, flowers, and food for us and nature. Our members enjoy the conversation, camaraderie, and compassion for the community and environment.”

The MBGC recently hosted their first meeting of the year on March 21 at the Center Moriches Library. During the event, a speaker from the Cornell Cooperative Extension spoke about gardening with deer.

Meetings used to be held in a nearby church, and since the pandemic have moved to the Center Moriches Library, with most meetings being held outside on a location. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 1 p.m. There are no meetings in January or February due to weather.

Future meetings include: a tour of a private rhododendron garden in April; in May, there will be a focus on pansies; a tour of the rose garden at the Southampton Library will be for June; a trip to Peconic Herb Farm for July; and their annual flower show will be held in August.

And, don’t forget their 50th anniversary celebration Tea/Chinese Auction at Camp Paquatuck in September; then they will hold a succulents and pumpkins class in October and a houseplants speaker will come in November. Also, they hold their holiday luncheon at Trumpets on the Bay in December.

Members Rita and her husband, John Sepenoski, own a farm in Peconic. They invite the club every year the first week in December to make wreaths, swags, centerpieces, etc., for the holidays. 

“We will have more information on these meetings and the 50th anniversary celebration in future articles,” said Chieffo. “Stay tuned.”

In addition to the club’s educational meetings, they also contribute to the community by participating in the Great Brookhaven Cleanup and the Memorial Day parade. Every year, the club also awards a $1,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a major in horticulture.

Those interested in joining the club should contact president Debbie Cannarelli at 631-258-3657 or Dues are $40 per year and go towards running the club. The club is also always looking for new speakers or places to go.


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