Our garden club needs a boost. Can anyone suggest a few interesting programs?
Hardiness Zone: 10b
In my community, the local garden clubs take care of the flower beds at our library, as well as inside planters at our public schools. Perhaps your group could do something like that in your community.
I started a garden club in my little town. We exchange plants and seeds. I have many types of bubble machines. We bring potluck foods and blow bubbles, exchange seedlings, plants and unusual pots. We hold them at a different persons yard each month. We check out their gardens. We did tie die this last summer. We also make plantings for hospitals... One year we revamped the Senior center yard. planting veggies with flowers and angel statues in between. We have had botanists from state parks and kids studying horticulture give talks. I also think showing little kids how to plant might be a good thing, starting a garden at the school, for kids who have to go to summer school.
I work in a nursing home and I would strongly suggest you contact some in your area. Nursing homes desperately need the services your club can provide. Your club could be in charge of planters that you change each season. You could do small plants for patients rooms and be in charge of re-potting them as needed. You could do an herb garden, a vegetable garden, a succulent garden, bird houses and bird feeders. All these things would bring joy to a nursing home and require time and attention that your garden club could provide.
I do not belong to a garden club but something I have always looked for and is difficult to find summarized is a fruit, vegetable, herb "calendar class" that would give me specific (within a week or so) planting and harvesting dates for a wide variety of foods that could grow in our hardiness zone. Yes, I've been able to piece together these bits of information to become successful in home growing foods, but nothing was ever easy to figure out and as far as I know, no local garden club offers such help.
As well, I've searched high and low for flower bed garden plants and mapped garden plots in my hardiness zone that will bloom from early spring to late fall successively. Again, I can piece together this information from various research, but can't find a single source for an ever blooming patch that works specifically for my hardiness zone.
Just a thought, but maybe simplifying this often baffling dilemma with a printed calendar, planting guide and monthly meetings for consultation for new members in a local garden club might help grow the club membership. Honestly, the few landscapes I do see grow so successfully (in my area) are either horticulture professionals or individuals and businesses able to pay for horticultural services. Can't speak for everyone, of course, but never found a local garden club to offer such practical advice to the do it yourself home owner.
I think it's great to plant a community square according to the direction of a local garden club, but I'd be more apt to participate if the garden club would give me the specific information to do the same in my own back yard. Just sayin' 'cuz you asked! :-)
I have belonged to a garden club for 2 years now. It's kinda a dying group and I have been elected to become president in September. I would love any and all ideas on things to do to make this club more fun, like crafts, trips, speakers, anything! Please help.
Tracy from MI
A contest, like grow the biggest pumpkin, squash, etc. The winner can be timed to enter the local county fair's produce section.
Your country probably has a Dept. of Agriculture, they can make presentations. Ditto for Lawn and Garden stores. Arrange tours of open houses from other garden clubs.
Have meetings in the library and invite newcomers.
Sometimes a club fades because the founder was the life line and once the founder leaves, it falls apart. If so, it's not your fault. (06/28/2007)
You could initiate a public service project and invite students from the local voc-tech program at the high school. You could clean up and decorate an old cemetery, put a garden around the town sign, or start a seedling campaign to have members trade/share/sell clippings from their favorite plants. Open a contest to local residents: most unusual planter, ugliest plant, etc. and provide entrants with invitations to your club.
If there is a local fair in your area (remember the days when every town had one?), sign up for a display tent. Ask residents who aren't members, but have fantastic gardens to allow your group to tour. Have "best (fill in the season) garden" contests and provide the winner with a nice plaque or stake to put in their yard, and have your club be the judges.
Ask local homes for senior citizens if you could do a short presentation. Many retired persons have/had an interest in gardening and may either join or provide interesting stories, tips, etc.
My first thought was to have a plant and bulb exchange. Since you are starting your reign in September, it's an ideal time to trade perennials, perennial seeds, and spring bulbs for fall planting. If your funds permit or you have a free newspaper, you could invite the public to come and bring some of their favorites to trade. This way you may be able to increase your membership, as well. (06/29/2007)
The thing that revitalized ours was a project that involved the young horticulture students at the high school, so that a sense of purpose and trans-generation developed among us oldies. Also that momentum was rolled along further when we linked up for charity with other clubs. It was very fun when we got on a chartered bus (not that expensive after all!) and went to a tour of winning gardens in a nearby city. All the way home one by one we each shared one idea gained that we found useful for our own homes. Just lots of mixing up with seeing other gardens seemed great by itself.
If there is a feud among your members, be sure to deal with it swiftly and publicly so that both feudants know that you are prepared to swat them both quickly. All I had to do was to loudly say "If you two don't take your personal stuff outside this meeting, I will knock your heads together right now." Seemed like a great sigh of relief went up and smiles returned! God bless your good-hearted efforts! (06/29/2007)