Anyone belong to a local garden club?

linnea2(z5 NY)November 18, 2005

None of my local friends garden.

I'm wondering if a garden club is a good idea for me?

Anyone have any experience to share?

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It depends on the garden club. Some are more interested in arranging than growing and some are more interested in the social aspect than either arranging or growing. And then some are very interested in horticulture which is probably what you want.
Where abouts are you?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 7:07PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Hi Oldroser, I'm near Kingston/New Paltz in Ulster County.
No arranging I'm afraid. I'm not averse to socializing if it's about
growing exuberant, even exotic looking gardens of any size.

I should be able to rub along well enough with anyone who likes
Christopher Lloyd, Thomas Hobbs, Little and Lewis and Sarah Raven.
Is that asking a lot?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 9:01PM
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I would love to start a local garden club, thats informative, fun, takes outing to other garden both formal and informal. I'm from the Lagrange area. Any takers?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 5:31PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Lindz5, have you checked what's available?
My searches haven't shown much result, though I know there are several clubs.
Don't know anything about them or how to find out.

I don't even know what a garden club does?
How often they meet?
Informative, fun, formal/informal sounds good.
Lagrange is just south-east of Poughkeepsie, right?
I have a very large place suitable for meetings..

Let's poke a bit further. This forum has been dismally slow for months,
maybe this would form some sort of focus, even if it's just to find out
we really hate garden clubs :o)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 9:43PM
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I'd be interested in a club, although, I have little knowledge to offer. Very interested in learning, though! I'm in a brand new home, with nothing growing ATM, other than grass. In my last home I had a nice veggie garden and a few perennial beds. While I don't miss the house, I miss the gardens, trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 5:10PM
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There's one in Woodstock. I went to a lecture once, and it was very interesting (Dean Ritter with his enormous, unusual annuals). They meet regularly, have lots of cookies, and seem to be a nice bunch of folks. They have all the usual things like swaps, lectures, meetings.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 8:12AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Here are a few phone numbers cribbed from the Web. (The page on which they originally appeared is no longer available.)

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Dutchess County: (845) 677-8223
Columbia County: (518) 828-3346
Greene County: (518) 622-9820
Orange County:(845) 344-1234
Putnam County: (914) 278-6738
Rockland County: (914) 429-7085
Ulster County: (914) 340-3990
Westchester County: (914) 285-4620

Just about every county in New York offers a Master Gardener Program through its Cooperative Extension Office. Although the program will vary somewhat from county to county, as a volunteer you'll have to opportunity to participate in educating and assiting your community in a variety of community based horticultural activities. You'll also receive great ongoing training and experience. Training requirements, times and fees vary, so contact your local Exteension Office.

Federated Garden Clubs in Dutchess County (Dutchess)
Phone: (845) 452-5826

This is the ubiquitous garden club you have probably heard about forever. They are alive and doing very well in Dutchess County. They are a member of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, the largest such organization in the world. The mission of Federated Garden Clubs is to "Promote Horticulture, Conservation, Environment, Civic Beautification, Garden Therapy , Historic Preservation and Landscape Design." No small task.

There are currently five clubs in Dutchess County.

Nine Partners Garden Club in Millbrook
Standford Garden Club in Standfordville
Pine Plains Garden Club
Rhinebeck Garden Club
Dutchess Garden Study Club in Poughkeepsie

Each club has its own dues structure and coordinates its own activities. For information on any of the clubs in Dutchess County, call the above number.

Federated Garden Clubs in Ulster County (Ulster)
Phone: (845) 339-3555

As with Dutchess County above, Ulster County has multiple Federated Garden Clubs. Their current nine are:

Community Garden Club of Marlborough-on-Hudson
Hillside Acres Garden Club
Little Gardens of Kingston
New Paltz Garden Club
Saugerties Society of Little Gardens
Shawangunk Garden Club
Ulster Garden Club
Woodstock Garden Club

For information on any of the clubs in Ulster County, call the above number.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 6:02PM
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klavier(Z7 Baltimore)

HVIDS- Hudson Valley Iris and Daylily Society. Quite possbly the best thing since sliced bread. They always hire guest speakers and discuss all aspects of gardening, not just iris and daylilies. The members have all different kinds of gardens, from the very exotic and interesting to the traditional european style gardens and vanderbuilt looking gardens. They hold many activities and garden tours.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 1:38PM
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There are rose societies in Kingston and Newburgh. Kingston will meet the 4th Sunday in January at 2 pm in the Town of Ulster Town Hall. Newburgh meets generally the first Sunday but that can change - at the Town of Newburgh Recreation Bldg on Rt 32 & 300. Also at 2.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 7:18PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

thanks for finding all that! I called the Ulster number, it was disconnected,
the Dutchess number belonges to a lady who stopped being involved over 4 years ago.

I googled NYS Federated..etc. and got the email address of Pam Foesher, who appears
to be the current chairwoman of "District III" (that's us).
I haven't gotten around to emailing her yet, but I will, when I figure out
exactly what to ask her :o?

"Hello Pam, I'm looking for other weird mixed garden addicts locally,
really mixed! Zone 5 Rousseau, with large mythical animals" ??
That's what I'd really like to say, but I don't know if this approach
would get any useful response.

The Woodstock one seems perhaps hopeful? I found a picture of Dean Ritter's
garden in a book I was given. Looks kind of my direction Susan.

Klavier, are you a member of HVIDS? Sounds interesting.
Have any contact information?

Do other groups also meet in winter I wonder?
Now there's really time to think and plan, which is where feedback works well.

I correspond with friends who are equally gung ho, but there's nothing
like show and tell in the same zone.

Oldroser, can you recommend a hardy yellow/orange climber/scrambler for
the complete idiot?
I have one little white shrub rose that fits the description, owes me nothing,
the deer leave it alone, it flowers several times a season after an inept spring prune.
It's not very interesting.
I also have 4 New Dawn that give me guff no end.
I'm not much of a roser and would have nothing to contribute to a rose society.
Nice edging maybe..I'm rather handy with concrete..

That's where things are at the moment.
Any further ideas welcome.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:15PM
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jaybn(z5 NY)

Klavier is a well-known member of HVIDS, but may not have heard - The new meeting place for 2006 will be the Marlboro Library, off 9W, on the first Sunday of the month, starting at about 1:30-2:00. The season will start in March. The first speaker hasn't been announced. The website is, but it wasn't working just now.

There are volunteers working on the gardens at the Vanderbilt Mansion and Locust Grove/Samuel Morse Estate on the other side of the Hudson River, too.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:22PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Anybody interested in gory details on volunteering at Vanderbilt, email me. We do have volunteers from Ulster Co.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 6:06PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Jay, that's on OUR side (worst speed trap between here and Newburgh,
drive 30 exactly!)

So, what do you do, just show up?
Or do you have to do time as a volunteer at Vanderbilt first?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 7:39PM
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I am a 2005 graduate of the Master Gardener program i Dutchess County. It is a good program, the next one starts in September 2006. If you want to work with gardeners and do some really beautiful projects such as the Dutchess County Fair, this is the group for you.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 11:48AM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Lindz5, I was admiring the perennial beds when visiting the Sheep and Wool festival
and wondering how they came to be. I'm sure they were in their glory
earlier, but even that late in the fall they were beautiful and well maintained!
Is there a budget for plants and hardscape, or is that volunteer as well?

I'm rather overbooked for volunteer work, but could find time for
some other kind of gardening community, should new information materialize?
Along with Klavier?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:09PM
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lianeny(z8a GA)

Greetings, all!

I thought I'd chime in on my experience with a local garden club (which shall remain nameless).

At a Garden Club plant sale / fundraiser I spoke to someone about the possibility of joining. My interest was met with little enthusiasm (I appear to be about thirty years younger than all the members I saw) but my phone number was taken and I was told I'd be contacted. None one ever contacted me.

Some time later I was informed that to become a member you must be nominated by an existing member and voted in. In addition, my neighbor (who is even newer to the area than we are), a daylily hybridizer, was told he couldn't join because he was male!

Of course, I've long since figured out that this wasn't the kind of garden club I was looking for. Still, I must admit to a degree of disappointment.

I think Ulster County is running their Master Gardener training program this fall (Orange County began one last fall), so I may give that a tryƂ

Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 1:44PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Liane, I think I'll just barge in on the HVIDS.
Their web site says "open to the public" and encourages people to join.

What you experienced is exactly what I'd like to avoid.
Maybe it's a front for a bookie joint?
Ladies sewing circle and terrorist society?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 6:53PM
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blackcat333(z6 NY)

Me, too. Seems a lot of places almost have a country club mentality, which is unfortunate. Maybe the local Cornell Cooperative Ext. would have some ideas.

I'd love to have a local group of friends who garden. Unfortunately, my closest gardening bud is 1 1/2 hours away so it's a bit hard to dig in the dirt together on a regular basis!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 8:40PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

linnea, have you checked out the garden conservancy- based near you in nystate? They have an Open Days Directory and the people whose gardens are featured might be enjoyable contacts for you.from the photos i've seen of your place, i'm guessing YOURS should be featured on an open days tour. call them and ask who is the coordinator for tours(they have to come visit and approve you for inclusion in their tours). then start touring and meeting possible garden pals.
you never know who's out there....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:02AM
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candyinpok(5b or 6, NY)

Well, I'll chime in to say that I live in LaGrange and wouldn't mind collaborating with other gardners. Old Roser has already been helpful several times. I'm sort of new at seriously gardening and would consider myself wierd since my garden doesn't look like almost anyone elses around here, but I don't have any mythical animals in it yet. I like to go to Innisfree and actually went to Vanderbilt last weekend. Visiting gardens would be good. But especially sharing gardening habits, tips and experiences would be good. I definitely lean toward wildlife friendly and have added a number of native varieties.

A garden club might be a little hard as I work Sept. to June, which is also why I haven't done the master gardener training although I'd really like to.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:56PM
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I've belonged to the New Paltz Garden Club for several years now and it is a really wonderful group.

We do a lot of civic gardening including the lovely seasonal planters at the Thruway Exit 18 tollbooths, the garden behind the bench at Main & Chestnut, a perennial garden on Huguenot Street & another garden outside Deyo Hall. We work in teams to do all the planting, watering and weeding of those gardens. It's a lot of organizing and work but it really helps brighten New Paltz.

We have meetings, lectures, garden tours, swaps (I organize that!) and some more traditional garden club events like a "Table Carousel" which is a kind of table decoration tea party fundraising event. This fall we hosted a judged district standard flower show.

Our club has several dozen members with a wide variety of gardening knowledge, skills and styles. We have organic gardeners, master gardeners, rank amateurs such as myself, and some incredibly creative artists in our group. One of our members, Barbara Campbell, has been president of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State for the past two years.

Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings, they are usually listed in the paper's Almanac section and we get great speakers and have interesting programs.

We are 99% female (landscaper and all-around good guy Mark Masseo is our sole male member at this point in time - he really helps us when we need some heavy lifting or equipment!) but all are welcome to attend.

And did I mention we have killer homebaked desserts at the end of every meeting. : )

If you are interested in learning more about New Paltz Garden Club drop me an email or leave a message at (845) 255-7800.

Celeste Cleary

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 11:32AM
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I'm very interested in joining a club here in lower Westchester, but I had a very similar experience to Liane's with our local club. If we weren't in different counties, I'd swear it was the same club. I met the members of the club at their booth at our local town day celebration. They were a lovely group of ladies of a certain age, beautifully presented with neat coiffs, lovely hats and floral skirts, They were selling pressed flower notepaper and I had my three children in tow, toting various types of street food and craft projects. When I expressed interest in joining the club, they pursed their lips, shot each other disapproving looks, and informed me that "we meet during the DAY" They left no doubt that they believed/hoped that I was otherwise occupied during the day. I gave them my phone number and they promised to contact me about the next meeting. I knew then and there that I would never be contacted. And I never was.

So here I wait in southern Westchester (Rivertowns area), the land of the gardening service, hoping to find other gardeners to talk garden with. I don't have a lot to offer either. I'm a relative newbie and my gardens are not awe inspiring (yet, anyway). I have neither a wealth of knowledge nor a large budget. But I'd love to trade information, learn, help with a project, etc... and I'm a pretty good baker. Anyone interested?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 6:50PM
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carlie_girl(z6 CT)

Me sweetclg!!!! MEEEE!!!!!

I'm gonna track you down somehow...even if you never reply to this thread again! I live in lower Westchester (just moved here)! I love to garden! I'm unpretentious! I love children! (I have one!) I love to bake! AND....I need a garden club too! Lets make one! Even if its only the two of us! I'm in Mount Vernon. I'm now off to google Rivertowns and figure out where that is.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 12:32PM
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Well, I never said I'M not pretentious :) But it sounds like we have the makings of OUR kind of club.

Mount Vernon isn't far from me. I'll e-mail you tomorrow morning, when my eldest isn't standing over the computer glaring at me.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 7:02PM
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Please join New Paltz Garden Club for our third annual Plant Swap! It will be rain or shine on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 8am outside Deyo Hall in New Paltz. All are welcome to attend.

From 8:00- 8:45 am you may bring your plants to swap. Please label them as best you can!

From 8:00 - 8:45 Master Gardener Diane Watt give a talk on "Four Season Gardening".

9:00 am sharp - Swapping starts!

10:00 -10:30 am - all plants not swapped will be available for sale.

Please email me for more info - celeste [@] or call (845) 255-7800. I'll also post the details of the event in the Events section of GardenWeb so look for a detailed posting there soon.

* * If you don't want to swap but you have extra plants or divisions or seedlings or old garden tools or ANYTHING gardening related that you would like to donate to this event they are very welcome! Just give me a call. They will find a good home with a new gardener. : )

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 10:52AM
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