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Camden In Bloom

Next time you are walking in downtown Camden, take the time to stop and smell the flowers -- the flowers that adorn the wooden trash receptacles, that is.

Since 1998, members of the Camden Area Business Group have purchased, watered and cared for these blooming beauties as part of the Group's downtown beautification mission.

All summer long, various business owners and employees tend to the watering and pruning of the plants, making Camden a little more colorful and welcoming throughout the growing season.

Planters can be found on Main, Elm, Washington, Chestnut and Bayview Streets, and on the public landing.

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Some of the most enduring and cheerful symbols of downtown Camden are the geranium-filled, wrought iron flower baskets suspended from the familiar green lampposts. In 1925, Mr. Edward Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal, whose son Cary had been most impressed with the lamppost flower boxes he had seen in Lymington, England, offered to have similar baskets prepared for Camden, as long as the Camden Garden Club would assume responsibility for their ongoing care and upkeep.

There was much interest in this project, and in the spring of 1925, the flower baskets were designed and forged by local blacksmith, Frank Alexander.  The first basket was installed at 56 Elm Street, in front of what was then Chandler's Pharmacy. By mid-summer 1925, all the lampposts in the downtown area were sporting baskets of Pelargonium x peltatum 'Royal Balcon' alpine ivy geraniums, which is the same geranium that blooms from the baskets today.

The Camden Garden Club, founded in 1915, is the oldest surviving garden club in the State of Maine. In addition to maintaining the suspended flower baskets since 1925, members of the Camden Garden Club also oversee annual plantings at the following locations around Camden: the Village Green, the Main Street Bridge flower boxes, the Rt 1/52 traffic island flower bed, the Chamber of Commerce and Public Landing flower beds, the Union Street Arch flower boxes on the Camden side.

Resources:
The Camden Garden Club

  
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Camden Area Business Group
PO Box 505 | Camden ME 04843

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