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Article: Garden Clubs -- Mighty Forces for Good: You are right!

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Forum: Article: Garden Clubs -- Mighty Forces for GoodReplies: 22, Views: 79
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pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 26, 2009
7:58 PM

Post #6323418

Our local garden club does much good stuff and I would join except I am so busy with the Iris Society. I always heard that you had to be invited to join -- don't know if that is true or not, but I was invited. I just didn't have time to do it justice. My mother was never in the Garden Club. She claimed it was because you had to be invited and she never was. Don't know if that is true or not.
planolinda
Plano, TX

March 26, 2009
10:58 PM

Post #6324181

i am not sure either--i don't find encouragement to join our local one--i imagine there are members on dave's garden but haven't seen anyone encouraging new members so maybe they are closed societies for an exclusive few?
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2009
2:38 AM

Post #6325090

Well when I joined lo many years ago it was invitational. I totally disagree with the idea and concept of it being that but...
Although I am still a member, albeit an absent one from where I belong, my main problem over the years is clearly shown in the article---seems the focus has been and continues to be "Floral Design" in spite of what they say. Not all members are into or want to be judges--they like working outside with plants and learning about different aspects of gardening and doing service projects to beautify the communities. My opinion only! I did serve as an officer in the club where I belong and finally as President of the club but I still do not agree with the emphasis of being where it is currently.

Luckily I found a niche where I enjoyed working and stayed in that particular area. Each his own, I guess.

This message was edited Mar 26, 2009 10:40 PM
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 27, 2009
3:00 AM

Post #6325195

I would like to learn floral design, but not if I have to go to a bunch of meetings and serve as an officer to do it. That is what I am doing in the local iris society. We have a floral design section in our show, but I strictly do the horticultural side. Oddly enough, the iris society doesn't teach floral design.
But, like you, I am more interested in planting and growing things than in floral design.
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2009
3:17 AM

Post #6325313

Oh don't get me wrong, I chose to serve as an officer when asked to do so (going on to serve as President was something my late hubby felt strongly about--I am glad I did now as it did help me grow and improved my confidence in myself) but that doesn't mean I don't think there are changes that could/should be made. As stated, not everyone is dedicated to learning floral design. I took the classes, learned what I wanted for my personal enjoyment but--the "pushing" to go on to the advance classes and then judge status--not my cup of tea. I like playing in the soil to much and doing work in the community. Alas that is all behind me--another life.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 27, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #6325430

I will continue with the iris club and let someone else do the floral design. I am happy just sticking a handful of flowers in a vase and watching them as they open. In fact I am doing that the last few days with $2.50 worth of daffodils from Trader Joe's. They are lovely in a cobalt blue vase and satisfy my needs. I rarely cut the flowers in my garden. They last longer on the bush, usually.
I like to play in the dirt and get dirty, too, but they already have their eyes on me for president and I am eager to be a judge, so I am probably doomed to be President of the local society one of these days. I will manage, but I have been president of other things as well and am not dying to do it again. Still somebody has to do it or there is no club. I will take my turn when the time comes.
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2009
1:08 PM

Post #6326393

Good for you! Nothing prettier than a few stems randomly put into a pretty vase--always have some on the breakfast room table. Enjoy the dirt!
MotherNature4
Bartow, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 30, 2009
3:42 PM

Post #6340312

I'm so sorry you all had poor experiences about joining a garden club. I have been a member since 1956, and admittedly, at first people had to be voted on. That is no longer the case for most garden clubs. Anyone who expresses an interest is invited to attend a meeting, then if they are still interested after they learn what being a member involves, then they are invited to join. We also put invitations in the local paper. All organizations have declining membership problems so they should welcome anyone really interested in any phase of grden club work. I hope you won't give up and contact someone in your local garden club and ask about what they do. People don't have time to sip tea and socialize, they want to feel as though they accomplish something.
My special interest in FFGC is the 6 week residental camp for boys and girls that focuses on environmental education, nature crafts and water activities. The other is my special interest in native plants.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2009
3:57 PM

Post #6340369

Sounds like garden clubs have changed with the times. But I started out in the Iris Club and don't know how I would have time for the garden club.
leemiller38
Stockton, CA

March 30, 2009
4:15 PM

Post #6340454

I attended a garden club meeting a few years back to learn about pruning Camelias and was asked to join despite having a Y chrmosome and thus became the first male in the club. Opened up a lot of learning opportunities to become a better gardener. These clubs need all the members they can get--especially younger ones who often are too involved these days in earning a living.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2009
4:19 PM

Post #6340468

Yes, the iris club has the same problems. I am no spring chicken, but I am one of the younger members of the iris club. As women increasingly go into the job market this lovely little clubs are losing members. I waited until I retired to join, but the demands are considerable -- and I can only manage one club.
leemiller38
Stockton, CA

March 30, 2009
6:55 PM

Post #6341038

Civilization is in a severe erosion phase and the loss of resources, leisure and community is and will sadly continue, but lets enjoy all that we can on our way out as the dominant animal. Plant a garden and enjoy and hope the young can learn to garden to secure their own future.
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 30, 2009
7:07 PM

Post #6341084

Oh, I am not down or had a bad experience with the garden club, I think maybe some clubs interest are to focused on one area rather than many that keeps the membership alive. If you will note, I did serve in many offices including President for 2 years. I just think they need to be more aware of all aspects of what the clubs offer and not so concentrated in one particular area. Many clubs do this but there are some who don't stay as diversified as others.
Garden0417
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2009
7:27 PM

Post #6341162

Our Garden Club, part of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. has been active since 1960 and I am the ‘male’ co-chair – and like the clubs in the state, we are not a bunch of ladies sipping tea - our programs this past year include “Green Architecture,” “Name that Plant” as part of a tour of a members garden, “Sustainable Agriculture in Your Own Back Yard,” “Divide and Conquer Mums”, “Fruits that grow in Our Community,” “Flora of Alaska,” “Designing with Wood or How to make designs for the Home,” “Landscaping with Native Plants,” “Perennials for Our Town,” “Japanese Garden Travel Log,” and “Greek Church (Stained Glass Window)Tour.” Only one session of floral design and that focus was on how to design for the home. We host about 5 community projects I think our club is an example of how the National Garden Clubs function. We as well as the other Clubs are open to anyone that wishes to join – meetings are advertised in the local paper for all to attend that wish.
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 30, 2009
7:39 PM

Post #6341211

Now that sounds like programs I would have enjoyed!!! Keep up the good work.
can2grow
Valparaiso, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2009
12:12 PM

Post #6348867

I know that many of your comments have merit, but I cannot understand any garden club worthy of the name that requires an invitation to join. Garden clubs in my neck of the woods are certainly not closed societies open to a priviledged few. We invite members through every conceivable channel. We do lots of work, and the more "worker bees" we have, the more we can accomplish.

Even though my garden club does teach and encourage floral design, we have many members, including myself, who are dig-in-the-dirt gardeners. Most of our programs and activities at the club level are geared toward these gardeners. The floral design aspect of garden club usually takes place at a special interest group that meets at other times. Our floral design study group meets once a month -- on Monday. The garden club meets once a month--on Wednesday. The garden study group is open to the public and meets once a month on a Monday evening. All are successful because members are free to choose the area of garden club interest in which they wish to become involved.

Like most groups, we struggle with membership. Everyone is invited to join my club. Hopefully each member will find something interesting and challenging enough to keep them coming back.

Sometimes, though, we have to be the "doers" in order to have something that we feel is worthwhile. It is easy to go to a meeting--of garden club, master gardeners, iris society, or any other related group, and to sit back and be critical if things don't go your way. It is harder to take a leading role and work to make it what you want it to be.

Joining clubs or other groups is not for everyone. Amiable Spouse, for instance, does not belong to a group of any kind, and has no desire to do so. That's his choice. I choose to join a group that works for the environment, for scholarships, for the less fortunate (my club just held a plant auction and earned in excess of $1000 for Habitat for Humanities Landscape Projects), and for many other worthwhile projects. At the same time, I have opportunities to learn and to sharpen my skills in many areas of gardening and floral design. I have put lots into my garden club, but the payback has been worth my while.

Well, I guess I could go on in this vein for quite some time, but I'll give it a rest for now. More later!

abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2009
2:51 PM

Post #6349463

For those who think I might be against garden clubs--that is not correct. I am a joiner and certainly a doer. The club I belong to is in the same situation of many across the country with membership dropping. They no longer issue invitations but when I joined 30+ years ago an invitation was issued. I am only stating that clubs need to stay diversified rather than focusing on one specific area of activities. Unfortunately with memberships dropping and those who are willing to serve as officers are more inclined to one area of activities, programs and activities can become focused on a limited area. That is just human nature I think---we tend to do what interest us the most. As with anything else, things will evolve and changes will come, hopefully for the better as far as memberships in clubs are concerned.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 1, 2009
5:20 PM

Post #6350106

I think one thing that has hurt Garden Club membership is the Master Gardeners. Many people who might otherwise become Garden Club Members are now Master Gardeners who focus on work in the community. I think both are good organizations and support them, though I only belong to the AIS -- National, Regional and Local.
abbisgranma
(Marion) Havana, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 1, 2009
5:45 PM

Post #6350232

I think you might be correct with that assumption.
leemiller38
Stockton, CA

April 7, 2009
9:32 PM

Post #6378944

I am a garden club member and a Master Gardener. Both do good stuff, but in my opinion the MG program offers more opportunity to do things in the community through lots of venues and likely attracts more men too, as garden clubs are traditionally more female and socially oriented rather than project oriented. Just an opinion.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2009
1:07 AM

Post #6379902

An opinion I agree with.
can2grow
Valparaiso, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2009
1:23 AM

Post #6379978

Well, I guess all groups are different. All depend upon what you're willing to put in. One MG group might be great and another less outstanding; likewise garden clubs. I'm fortunate to belong to both groups; both great, by the way. A lot depends on the leadership of the group.

pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2009
1:32 AM

Post #6380033

No doubt and every group I join is looking for a leader. I have been a leader and now wish to be a follower. I want to listen to lectures and during projects to be told -- dig there. I am burnt out from the world of work and am not yet ready to take on a leadership project in retirement!

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