The obvious answer is that NOT starting a garden club is less hassle than starting one, but my local gardening friends and I want to do SOMETHING. And we’ll only do it if we can avoid having officers, charging dues, hiring speakers and renting space for events. Done that, thanks!
I made a clean break from garden clubs when I moved to a town with NO garden club, but there’s one in the next town over that has meetings with speakers, dues, officers and holiday parties. I’m happy to drive even farther for a speaker I want to hear, and do it frequently.
But what we don’t have in my town are garden tours, or groups of gardeners working to beautify the town or help neighbors learn to garden. For a time we considered becoming a gardening committee within the bureaucracy of our co-op but that bureaucracy quickly proved to be TOO MUCH for people who just want to help people garden and not have to put up with crap to do it.
So we’re going rogue, baby! And informal, super-informal. No dues, officers or regular meetings. We even brag about that on our web page (still in draft):
The Old Greenbelt Gardening Boosters are an informal collection of gardeners who just want to help other people in Old Greenbelt learn to garden. (No dues, no officers, etc.)
We’re meeting soon to brainstorm these ideas for projects in 2020 – none of which will happen unless someone volunteers to take responsibility for them. (Not MY job to make them happen!)
- Self-guided tours or “garden walks”.
- Free garden consultations for lucky winners of drawings.
- Free pruning demonstrations.
- Plan improvements to common areas owned by the co-op.
- Help newcomers identify the plants in their new yards.
- Provide text and images online that answer common questions our neighbors are asking.
- Advocate for gardening and gardeners in Old Greenbelt.
- Promote fun and educational events of nearby garden clubs and public gardens, maybe arranging carpools to them. (Creating socializing opportunities without putting on events ourselves.)
Thanks to New Media
All this is made possible by the availability of free communication, of course. (Thus, no dues.) We’ll be using a combination of email, Facebook and the local blog I edit.
Readers, if you’ve been part of any local gardening group, official club or otherwise, what projects do you recommend for helping teach and energize local gardeners-to-be?
Photos of Our Work
Our group may not be official but already in 2019 we got to work, unofficially of course.
We organized a Garden Walk in early September that rated these three photos in the local paper!
Above, one of our free garden consultations.
Left, we brainstormed about landscape improvements at our co-op offices. On the right, we showed neighbors how to prune overgrown shrubs in a common area.