Chester County gar­den clubs en­hance com­mu­nity

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LIVING - Pam Bax­ter

Re­cently, I ref­er­enced gar­den clubs as a great place to meet fel­low gar­den­ers and to learn more about gar­den­ing. I also promised to gather in­for­ma­tion on gar­den clubs in Chester County to share with you. Be­low is a start on the ten clubs I learned about.

Con­estoga Gar­den Club — Thanks to Daily Lo­cal reader Cindy Clark, for the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion:

“Our club was es­tab­lished in 1956 so it has been ac­tive for 60 years. Our mis­sion is ‘To fur­ther the en­joy­ment and knowl­edge of Gar­den­ing.’

“We are a di­verse group with a va­ri­ety of in­ter­ests and tal­ents. We learn from each other as much as we do from oth­ers. And, we con­tinue to pass our love of gar­den­ing onto the next gen­er­a­tion. The Club en­tered the Philadel­phia Hor­ti­cul­ture So­ci­ety (PHS) Flower show for the first time in 1961 and was awarded a first place in their class.

“Our by­laws limit the num­ber of ac­tive mem­bers to 30. We have meet­ings at 10:30 a.m. on the sec­ond Mon­day of the month. Meet­ings may be held at pri­vate homes, pub­lic gar­dens such as Welk­in­weir or Scott Ar­bore­tum, and other lo­ca­tions such as Hen­ri­etta Hankin Li­brary or His­toric Yel­low Springs. There is a spe­cial speaker, ac­tiv­ity, or trip for each meet­ing. We also do Gar­den de­sign and Main­te­nance at His­toric Yel­low Springs in the gar­dens at the front of the “old” li­brary.

“To be­come el­i­gi­ble for mem­ber­ship in the Con­estoga Gar­den Club a per­son must be sin­cerely in­ter­ested in gar­den­ing and at­tend at least three Gar­den Club pro­grams within one year. If in­ter­ested in be­ing spon­sored as a new mem­ber, you can con­tact our cur­rent mem­ber­ship chair­woman, Cyndy von Czo­ernig at 610.917.0411.”

Gar­den Class of the Women’s Com­mu­nity Club of Uwchlan — Thanks to reader Sharon Richard­son for the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion:

“The Woman’s Com­mu­nity Club of Uwchlan (WCCU) was founded in 1922 and the Gar­den Class of the WCCU was founded in 1934. We cur­rently have 70 mem­bers. We are in Dis­trict I of the Gar­den Club Fed­er­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia; and we are mem­bers of Na­tional Gar­den Clubs, Inc. (NGC) and NGC Cen­tral At­lantic Re­gion.

“We meet at the Uwchlan Meet­ing House in Lionville, PA on the fourth Thursday of each month. Dur­ing our monthly meet­ings we have the op­por­tu­nity to dis­play flower de­signs and hor­ti­cul­ture for judg­ing and par­tic­i­pate in chal­lenge classes. Our pro­grams in­clude pre­sen­ta­tions on plants, de­sign, and con­ser­va­tion, work­shops, and tours of lo­cal gar­dens.

“Our ob­jec­tives are ed­u­ca­tion in gar­den­ing, flower de­sign, and con­ser­va­tion; main­te­nance of the grounds of the Uwchlan Meet­ing House; and preser­va­tion of the Uwchlan Meet­ing House, a Na­tional His­toric Site.

“We spon­sor a spring flower show in the Meet­ing House ev­ery

other year and are ac­tive in the fall Long­wood Gar­dens Flower Show on al­ter­nate years. We hold a plant sale on the first Satur­day in May that in­cludes mem­ber plants, shrubs, and trees. In con­junc­tion with our par­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion (WCCU), we gather and bunch fresh ev­er­greens for mak­ing wreaths and swags, make box­wood trees, and de­sign ta­ble ar­range­ments for our an­nual Christ­mas Fair.

WCCU par­tic­i­pates in com­mu­nity out­reach pro­grams for the home­less, crafts dolls for lo­cal hos­pi­tals, and awards a schol­ar­ship. Our mem­bers also serve as hostesses when the Uwchlan Meet­ing House is open to the pub­lic for tours the 1st Sun­day of each month, 2 to 4 p.m., from April to Novem­ber.”

Note: As I’ve re­searched our lo­cal gar­den clubs I’ve no­ticed the en­thu­si­asm, en­ergy, and ded­i­ca­tion of their mem­bers. It’s clear that th­ese clubs do more than meet, share ideas, and learn from pro­fes­sional gar­den­ers. Th­ese groups are also com­mit­ted to bring­ing their love of gar­dens and the beauty of plants into the com­mu­nity; the projects they sup­port and their ac­com­plish­ments are le­gion. Largely un­her­alded, th­ese gar­den­ers bring beauty to our com­mu­ni­ties and bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether, year af­ter year.

Pam Bax­ter is an avid or­ganic veg­etable gar­dener who lives in Kim­ber­ton. Di­rect e-mail to pcbax­ter@ver­i­, or send mail to P.O. Box 80, Kim­ber­ton, PA 19442. Join the con­ver­sa­tion at “Chester County Roots,” a Face­book page for gar­den­ers in the Delaware Val­ley. Go to Face­book, search for Chester County Roots, and “like” the page. To re­ceive no­tice of up­dates, click or hover on “Liked” to set your pref­er­ences.

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