Recently Your Examiner went to a bi-annual plant sale held by her local garden club.
Not the most earth-shattering news in and of itself, true, but the mix of people you’ll at modern events of the type is instructive.
Long gone are the days when the ladies got all gussied up to go see and be seen doing good works.
Now, kids garden, dads garden, singles garden.
In short, you’ll find someone like you even if you don’t meet someone you already know.
The variety plants is just as interesting – not just poseys and petunias, but fig trees, more exotic succulents than you’d think, herbs that are grown and ready to use and more.
Fifty-cents, one dollar, two dollars a piece, just chump change.
You can fill in a lot of the gaps in your yard and garden with about ten bucks.
What garden clubs do
Not for many years, have gardens been where the small-town dowager empresses go to take tea and talk flowers.
Yes, there’s always been a component of do-goodism to most gardening societies and circles, with educating the unwashed about greening grassing and whose rose bushes have the right setback for the street so that the town daughters won’t wallow in pig ignorance when it comes time to dig out their first gardens.
Many gardens good works run to things much more civic-minded, like the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. objective to erect memorials for veterans of our armed services, donating plants and labor to maintain public green spaces around libraries, civic buildings and schools.
So that $3 elephant you pick up generates money for these and for environmental education in the public schools, as well as children’s gardens, etc.
Shopping your garden club’s plant sales, even if you’re not joining, generates little bitty pots of money that go a long, long way in the local community.
Find your local clubs
Usually everyone is welcome at the clubs regular meetings, and, yes, the presentations can run to lengthy esoteric, but especially if you’re trying to establish a new yard, no knows better what will grow fast and healthy than the local gardeners.
The added advantage of starting with your town’s garden club is that they’re generally very conveniently located, whereas getting to the gurus at the County Ag Extension may mean a drive way out into the country.
Garden clubbers swap seeds, shouts, blossoms, fruits and veggies, all which you can grow your own from, plus they’re people you’ve seen around the neighborhood.
See, garden clubs are not just for hobbyists.
Here’s a partial list of garden clubs in Greater Jacksonville with their websites if available. Most are members the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs:
- Alligator Creek Garden Club, Starke, Fla.
- Brick City Garden Club of Ocala
- Four Seasons Garden Club, Swizterland, Fla.
- Gainesville Garden Club
- Garden Club at Palm Coast – www.gcpcinc.org
- Garden Club Fleming Island
- Garden Club of Callahan
- Garden Club of Green Cove Springs – www.mygreencovesprings.com/html/main/org_display/orgID/816007163/index.htm
- Garden Club of Hilliard – www.gcoh.webs.com
- Garden Club of Jacksonville – www.gardenclubofjacksonville.org
- Garden Club of Middleburg – www.gardencentral.org/florida/middleburg
- Garden Club of Orange Park
- Garden Club of Palatka – www.gardenclubofpalatka.org
- Garden Club of St. Augustine – www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org
- Garden Club of Switzerland, Fla.
- Garden Club of the Lakes, Keystone Heights, Fla.
- Garden Club of Jacksonville – gardenclubofjacksonville.org
- High Springs Garden Club
- Japonica Garden Club, Green Cove Springs, Fla.
- Mandarin Garden Club – www.mandaringardenclub.org
- Men's Garden Club of Jacksonville – www.mgcjax.org
- Newberry Garden Club
- Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala, Inc.
- The Ribault Garden Club, Jacksonville Beach – www.ribaultgardenclub.org
- Seedlings Garden Club, High Springs, Fla.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org