SAUGUS — Books are blooming at the Saugus Public Library with help from the ladies of the garden club.
For the fourth year in a row, the Saugus Garden Club and The New Friends of the Library are working together to sprout a bigger interest in reading from the community. Even with the slew of storms that have hit the North Shore and limited the number of participants, the event displayed a plethora of creative arrangements.
“You choose any book you want, whether you’re apart of The New Friends, a Saugus Garden Club member or if you just live in town, it doesn’t matter because this is open to everybody,” said Lorraine DiMilla, co-president of the garden club. “Come in and pick a book, whether you read it or not, and then it’s your interpretation of the book cover using flower arrangements.”
DiMilla, along with her garden club associates, co-president Donna Manoogian, treasurer Randy-Sue Abber and director Ruth Berg, said that interest from locals regarding the Books in Bloom grows every year it’s displayed.
“My favorite part is the fact that we can share it with the public and everybody comes to the library to see the flower arrangements,” said Berg.
Vases and supplies are all provided by the garden club while participants can buy whatever they want for their own flower arrangements. DiMilla put together at least six arrangements of her own, with her interpretation of “Magnolia Sky” by Susan Crandall being her favorite.
“I bought silk magnolias for this and, because I wanted this to be really precious, the greens in here are from my yard,” said DiMilla, co-president for the past two years. “I cut them before the snowstorm because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to them after it.”
The concept of utilizing book covers to inspire flower arrangements was first talked about by the Saugus Garden Club about seven years ago, according the club’s organizers.
“I saw it in Wakefield, maybe five years ago, and I thought if a Wakefield garden club could do it, we could too,” said DiMilla. “We have always had a partnership with the The New Friends of the Library so we mentioned it to them and they were really gung ho about it.”
The goal is to attract both local adults and children, according to DiMilla. The Saugus Public Library invites children, starting at the age of 5 years old, every Tuesday as a way to keep them interested in reading.
Since Books in Bloom began, it has had young participants eager to interpret their favorite book covers every year.
“I love seeing all the children because they usually make several arrangements,” said DiMilla. “There is a garden club member who spends time with them and teaches them how to make the flowers, plant seeds and just work with the Earth and nature.”
This year’s display was held on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17.
With flower arrangements made to interpret “Hello Kitty” and another that reflects a historical book about the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, it’s a unique way to keep locals interested in books in a digitally-driven world.
“I think the biggest thrill is to see someone come in here, who doesn’t really have a library card, and say I want to go see what this is all about and they walk around amazed and end up getting a library card,” said DiMilla.