The Massachusetts Horticultural Society Meeting on May 6, 1946

#OTD  On this day the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society was held at Horticultural Hall at 3:00 p.m. on May 6, 1946. 

Here's an excerpt from their delightful minutes:

From the President's Address:
At the end of the war, we were met with this question, "Will interest in gardening continue to grow or will there be a falling off ... with the coming of peace and a greater opportunity for other recreational pursuits?"

We proceeded on the assumption that fewer vegetable gardens would be made but that, on the other hand, a higher number of people than ever before would turn their attention to the growing of ornamental plants...

It is a duty for each one of us to plant a home garden. Membership in the Society has shown remarkable growth and now numbers well over 8,000. Our magazine, Horticulture, has been remarkably successful in attracting members for the Society from all parts of the country.
Report of the Secretary:
Interest in horticultural pursuits is steadily increasing if it can be measured by the increase in membership shown by this Society in the past year.

Twelve months ago, we had 7,200 members. As of today, the Society has 8,151 members.
Membership figures are always of interest as indicating trends.

The high point of this Society was in 1938 when the total membership was slightly higher than 9,000. Ten thousand members was the goal at that time but, because of the necessity of increasing revenue, the dues were raised from $2.00 to $3.00 a year.

This increase in dues was followed by an immediate drop in membership, which continued until 1942 when the Society reached its low point of the last decade with a membership of 6,633.
Since that time it has been climbing steadily, year by year, and it seems reasonable to believe that in another year or two, the 9,000 mark will again be reached.

The present figure is, of course, far beyond that of any similar organization in the country. However, it is pleasant to learn that the New York and Pennsylvania societies are also showing an upward trend.
Edward I. Farrington Secretary.
Report of the Library Committee:
Almost all the events and developments of 1945-1946 center... upon our return to the peace-time living.

In the reading room, for instance, visitors are no longer predominantly in uniform.
The questions a year ago were often about the plants of the Pacific areas or what a gardener should visit while stationed in Boston.

Now they are most often on the design of small home properties, the choice of good plant materials, the fine points of flower gardening, or the management of a greenhouse.

As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Massachusetts Horticultural Society

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