Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A lovely evening with a garden club

First off, I must reveal that I have no business giving a serious talk about gardening before any group, much less a garden club. Nonetheless, I found myself accepting an offer to give such a talk to the local Bowmansville Garden Club. I hedged my bets by making part of the talk about garden blogging and the glories of the internet for garden advice (Dave’s Garden, Gardenweb), part of it about my plans for my own summer garden, and part of it about Garden Walk, and how that affects the way I garden.

As you might expect, this was an impressive group of women who use the structure of the garden club to do all kinds of volunteering and community activities. One woman—herself using a walker—reported on her garden therapy projects for local nursing home residents. They also do plenty of plant exchanges and invite real experts in to advise them about tree pruning and other serious matters.

It was a bit nerve-wracking—especially when I saw the looks of familiarity on many of their faces when I recommended plants I thought were unusual. One woman in particular seemed quite the horticultural expert and had set up a sophisticated seed-starting greenhouse. But, like me, everyone in the group was self-taught, and that was comforting. They were very gracious.

It made me wish I belonged to such a group. Garden Walk is not a garden club—we mainly discuss issues such as how much we’ll charge for the T-shirts, how to improve the mailing list, and whether the headquarters sites should be expanded, and, if so, where. An Allentown Garden Club might be fun. Or not. (The insanity of even suggesting more meetings occurs to me at this point.)

Finally, I was fascinated by a tree branch brought in by one of the members. It was a larch, with many beautiful cones/seed pods located at its ends. Though I didn’t have my camera, I’ve googled up an image (shown above). You’ll have to imagine it without the needles—it’s a deciduous needle-bearer.


Pam/Digging said...

Yes, there is something very appealing about joining a group of like-minded people, especially if their likes involve plants!

We Austin garden bloggers---there are six of us now---are getting together soon for a group tour of each other's gardens. Birds of a feather . . .

LostRoses said...

Elizabeth, if I belonged to a garden club, you're just the kind of "expert" I'd like to hear!