For years, I yearned to be part of a garden community that nurtured its garden members by providing both social connections and garden knowledge.
When I lived in the big city, I joined two garden clubs, but they didn’t work out the way I’d hoped they would.
One major problem was the majority of garden clubs in my city held meetings on a weekday at 7 pm, and I worked. This meant on meeting days, I rushed home after work arriving home around 5:30 pm to let my dogs out, eat dinner, water plants, and then turn around and drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction to attend one of these meetings. By the time the meetings were over, it was close to 9:30 pm. I usually got home a little before 10 pm.
Separately, one of the garden clubs I joined had been in existence for some 40 years. Club members were all well into their 70’s and 80’s and had known each other forever. These were lovely ladies who held a secret: They didn’t garden at all. They were no longer physically capable of gardening; however, rather than letting the club die, they continued it as a monthly social gathering. After a year, I left these ladies as I felt the club didn’t meet my needs as a gardener.
When I moved to my current town, I heard there were two area garden clubs, and I thought seriously of joining one, that is until someone informed me these clubs were extremely competitive. I don’t garden competitively. It’s just not my thing.
Fast forward to the here and now. After reading a post, Dying on the Vine?, Part I & 2, on the Garden Rant blog, I’m seriously considering starting a garden club of my own.
Below are some of my loose thoughts on the subject. (Feel free to chime in with additional suggestions):
To share and promote garden knowledge garnered from individual members and others through talks, field trips, attending plant conferences and listening to outside speakers.
To promote *support* rather than *competition* between garden club members.
To promote cost sharing when possible with regard to the purchase of plants, mulch, compost, etc.
To promote friendship between gardeners
To assist fellow gardeners twice a year in their garden if needed (a garden “work day”)
To share resources such as plant cuttings, seeds, pots, etc. when we have extra to share.
Meetings once a month.
I need to secure a venue.
One time only $3.00-$5.00 due for membership. (Used to help defray the cost of door prizes.)
Small door prize through a raffle at every meeting.
Informal group. No formal reports, Robert’s Rule of Order or long recorded meeting minutes. Simple member votes on issues.
I will provide the “eats” for the first 6 months to a year until the group gets off the ground. I would do all clean up after meetings.
I will survey the group to see where their interests lie and hold subsequent meetings that cover those interests. We will go on field trips to popular nurseries, plant sales, garden tours, places that sell garden décor, and so forth.
I’m not sure how to lure younger gardeners other than through social media and honestly, I’ll need to rely on someone else to create a Facebook page ‘cause I don’t have a love affair with Facebook.
And now I need to figure out a name for the club.