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Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Posted by buckley Z5 CO (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 29, 09 at 21:27

First, does such a thing already exist? I haven't been able to find any. Who can I contact to get more information? If no club exists, why not?

I moved to Colorado about two years ago from Illinois, where I started the Mississippi Valley Garden Club from scratch, with the help of some very enthusiastic members. The club was extremely successful, despite the comparatively small population and chronically depressed economy. We reached the 100 member mark in only a couple of years, and have maintained that level for the last 12 years or so. The club was, first and foremost, just for fun. Lifelong friendships were forged at our meetings, and the combined knowledge of dozens of experienced gardeners was shared with those with less experience. I miss the fun we had, the bus tours we took, the community beautification projects, the plant sales, the plant exchanges, the gardening classes, the tours of member's gardens, and our yearly holiday parties. I miss the fact that our club had more money than we knew what to do with and had to start offering scholarships to maintain our tax-exempt status. Most of all, I miss the people. I just don't know all that many people here in Colorado, and most I do know are not gardeners. I don't know everything about garden clubs, but I do have experience in putting together a club from scratch, and I've seen many things that work and many that don't. We had several other local clubs in Illinois come to our meetings and end up modeling their clubs after ours, because we had fun, and we had enthusiasm. Does this sound interesting to you?

I've inquired around at some local nurseries about local clubs and just got blank stares in return. I really just don't know if there is a decent demand for a club here or not, or whether maybe a smaller group of us can whip up an interest in others. I believe a garden club is a very local thing, so I'm only interested in people from the southern Aurora or Parker area. I would, however, be willing to offer my experiences to those in other areas to help create their own clubs. I'm also not talking about a small group of elderly women (no offense) who just like flowers and meet on Wednesdays for lunch. I'm talking about a mix of young and old, men and women, veggie gardeners and flower gardeners, new homeowners with no clue, and master gardeners in a real community service organization. First, I need to know if there is a demand. Can we put something together and make some great friends?

Let's talk.
Jim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

I'm in SE Aurora and both of us are educated in Hort, the rest about me on my page. The GF runs a large tree initiative here and always needs folks/hooks up other folks/knows lots of folks/knows folks who know folks. She knows many of the Master Gardeners around here as well as she used to work for Extension. So we like to think we have the plant/pest expertise and the connections, anyways. I'll ask her what she knows about clubs also & I'd be happy to poke around once in a while (5-year old makes planning hard).

Dan


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

That sounds like the start of a great club right there, Dan. Most people know someone else who knows someone else. (except me, I don't know much of anybody) I understand the issues a 5-year old brings (just wait till they're teenagers!), but no planning is needed at this point. Right now I'm just looking for a group to say they're interested. When we have enough people to get started, we can meet and hash out the details. Any ideas on where else I could troll for potential members? Thanks,

Jim


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Hey Jim,

I'm the one you met at Borders, we were talking about your cactus collection and your club in Illinois and I recommended you stop by here. I love your idea and would be happy to be included if you'll have me. I am not educated in horticulture (yet) although Ive got my eye on the Horticulture Management program at CSU. Ive been gardening for 6 years and I grow both veggies and flowers. I live in Littleton near the Borders store where I met you but I would be willing to make the drive.
I think I mentioned that there is a Highlands Ranch gardening club through the Douglas County Library System. They organize a lot of demonstrations at local nurseries, an annual outing to the Botanic Gardens and a Christmas party. I am not a member but they do seem well organized. I was by far the youngest attendee on my only visit but they were very welcoming.
We also have two Denver area swaps through this forum, one in the spring and one in the fall.
I'm glad you stopped by!

Jill


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Hi Jill! I responded to you this morning, but apparently didn't hit "submit" before I left for work. I'll try again. I do remember you, and posted here specifically at your suggestion. The only reason I specified the south Aurora-Parker area is that I figured few people would want to drive very far to a meeting. I wouldn't. I'd join a Denver club if it weren't for the drive, and the fact that gardening out here on the prairie is different from gardening in the more protected areas of the city. Anyone is welcome to drive any distance to join us, especially someone as outgoing and nice as you. I just thought that with all the growth out here, and all the boring cookie-cutter contractor landscapes, and the unique challenges that our environment hands us, there would be a group of people who would like to either combine their knowledge with others or come seeking help and advice with their own gardening efforts. That's the people I'm looking for, and I need help in finding them. I'm probably going to try an ad in craigslist, and try putting flyers up on bulletin boards at libraries or grocery stores (that's how I got the first club started). Any other ideas or assistance is welcome! I got an email yesterday from a friend in Illinois, the husband of one of my garden club members. He appreciated the friendships his wife had forged in the club and how it had affected her life. He thanked me for starting the club back in 1995 and told me what a good thing it was for so many people. That's what I'm hoping to recreate here, but I'll need help. It'll take time to get a core group of people together, but then we can meet and hash out the details. The rest is mostly just fun! Hope to meet you again soon.

Jim


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

So no elderly cat ladies who crochet, huh? I guess that leaves me out.

I live in west-central Aurora and don't have a car, so I might not be able to participate, anyway, although otherwise I'd be interested. We could trade photos of our vegetables (or maybe of our cats...). But it looks like I'm out of the area you're talking about.

I moved here from Illinois myself, 20 years ago this year.

There's an online organization called Meetup, which lists different local clubs. I haven't looked for a gardening club, but I suppose I could.


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Miss Lilacs, I certainly never intended to exclude anyone from the club based on age, interest, or location. I do realize that there are clubs composed exclusively of elderly ladies, and that fills an important niche for them, but I'm looking to fill a different niche, that of the average homeowner that works during the day, is busy with kids, and needs a horticultural resource that can help him/her with a boring landscape, or just wants to get started in gardening. I expect and look forward to quite a few elderly members. Age = experience! Crocheting may not be the focus of the club, but I would be surprised if you were the only member to have that hobby. As far as where you live, I specified a local region just so people wouldn't have to drive far to attend a meeting. I don't want to travel all the way to the Botanical Garden for a meeting because it's inconvenient. There is room in the Denver area to support many garden clubs. I just think each area needs its own simply for convenience. If a club formed in your area, I am sure you could arrange a ride from another member. We had several such arrangements in our Illinois club, and some of those elderly crocheters were fantastic gardeners! Keep watch for more information. If this new club is successful, you may still be able to join and hitch a ride with someone.

Congratulations for escaping Illinois. I lived there my whole life and could hardly stand it. I have an 8yr old solid black cat named Shadow. He just loves the garden I'm currently creating. Keep in touch.


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

The first meeting of the new unnamed Garden Club is set for March 5th at the Tallyn's Reach Library in southern Aurora, meeting room B. The library is at the corner of Arapahoe Road and South Aurora Parkway, just a block south of Smoky Hill and Southlands shopping area. They gave me the time block of 6-8:30, but I think 6 might be a bit early for most people, so I'll start at 7pm. If you want to come early for a "meet and greet", I'll be there at 6. Look forward to meeting new friends.


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Calendared.

Dan


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Saw your flyer in Nick's yesterday, Buckley.

Dan


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Hey Jim,

I just wanted to let you know that Ill be at your meeting in spirit but I have a previous engagement so I wont be able to attend. I hope a lot of people attend and I hope to make it to your next meeting.

Jill


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Bummer, Jill. Our second meeting will be March 26, also at Tallyn's Reach Library, also 6-8:30. If you have any ideas about a club name, let me know so I can bring it up. Also, we'll be needing a permanent meeting place, so be thinking about that as well. As we get organized, we'll be looking for volunteers to serve as officers and board members. We'll need a bit of extra work from everyone in the beginning. If everything goes well, we could be having fun by spring. Keep in touch and/or send me your email if you want to be kept in the loop. Thanks,

Jim
jstb488@msn.com


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Bump. Just a reminder about next Thursday's meeting. I'm hoping to meet a few of you there. Bring a friend or just meet a new one there. I think I've got us a permanent meeting place, and several of us have already started trading plants!


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

I really haven't gotten much interest on this forum, but remain hopeful. Last Thursdays meeting got "blizzarded" out. I have rescheduled the next two meetings at the Smoky Hill Library (Tallyn's Reach was booked into June). The meetings are as follows:

April 9, (Th) 730-900 pm
May 6, (Wed) 700-900 pm

Hope to see some new faces there!


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RE: Garden Club in southern Aurora-Parker area?

Wish you luck, Denver is a great area for gardening. My first year there I tilled under the grass and planted. Had to weed 10 for the whole year. Try that down here and you would get nothing. Always had a great garden each year there. One year everything was coming up and we had about four inches of snow and thought I would lose everything, instead they just grew faster. Had rhubarb the frst year after stating it from seed over the winter.
Paul


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