There’s a gar­den club near you

A quick look at clubs from Ken­nett Square to Elver­son and in be­tween

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

On Oct. 13, I pro­filed the Con­estoga Gar­den Club and the Gar­den Class of the Women’s Com­mu­nity Club of Uwch­lan. This week I want to high­light sev­eral other of the gar­den clubs in Ch­ester County.

The Spade and Trowel Club

Or­ga­nized in 1939, the Spade and Trowel Club is ac­tive in and around Ken­nett Square. The fed­er­ated club (of the Gar­den Club Fed­er­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia) par­tic­i­pates in projects such as land­scap­ing lo­cal flower beds, and pro­vid­ing flow­ers and ar­range­ments for com­mu­nity af­fairs and or­ga­ni­za­tions. It also com­petes in lo­cal and re­gional flower shows: the Long­wood Flower Show; the Philadel­phia Flower Show; and its own in-house show. The club has won many in­di­vid­ual and club awards through­out its his­tory.

The Spade and Trowel Club un­der­takes projects and makes do­na­tions that re­flect the sense of the mem­ber­ship. The ob­jec­tive is to in­volve as many mem­bers as pos­si­ble in a broad ar­ray of gar­den­ing and re­lated in­ter­ests. Mem­bers have worked with the Ken­nett Square Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion Com­mit­tee, and de­signed and main­tain the herb and kitchen gar­den at Barns Brin­ton House in Chadds Ford, as well as other com­mu­nity ser­vice projects.

The club meets Septem­ber through June on the sec­ond Tues­day of the month, in pri­vate homes or public venues in and around Ken­nett Square. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to http:// www.spade­andtrow­el­gar­den­

Twin Val­leys Gar­den Club

Twin Val­leys Gar­den Club (TVGC) mem­bers ex­change gar­den­ing tips and flower seeds, at­tend and present ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams, and visit lo­cal and re­gional gar­dens.

Orig­i­nat­ing in the Pick­er­ing and Great Val­leys in the late 1920s, TVGC has grown to in­clude mem­bers from Malvern and Charlestown, Phoenixville and Audubon, Ch­ester Springs and West Ch­ester, Ex­ton and East Nant­meal. TVGC mem­bers take an ac­tive role in gar­den­ing and com­mu­nity ser­vice projects to ben­e­fit groups whose mis­sions match the goals of the group.

The club takes pride in the goals it has up­held since its in­cep­tion: to stim­u­late an in­ter­est in gar­den­ing; to pre­serve na­tive beauty, both hor­ti­cul­tural and scenic; and to pre­vent these nat­u­ral trea­sures from be­ing destroyed or ex­ploited.

In ad­di­tion to learn­ing about new plants and im­prov­ing their ex­ist­ing gar­den­ing skills, mem­bers can serve as vol­un­teer

judges in the Penn­syl­va­nia Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s Gar­den­ing and Green­ing Con­test, plan and main­tain public gar­den ar­eas at His­toric Yel­low Springs, In­struct young adults with spe­cial needs in the Cam­phill com­mu­nity on the ba­sics of flower ar­rang­ing, learn to think like a flower show judge, work at lo­cal craft fairs to an­swer gar­den­ing ques­tions, visit lo­cal and re­gional gar­dens and green­houses, ex­change seeds, bulbs, seedlings, and saplings, and make new gar­den­ing friends.

TVGC holds reg­u­lar day­time meet­ings on the sec­ond Wed­nes­day of each month. Each meet­ing in­cludes

an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram or work­shop pre­sented by a lo­cal ex­pert or an ex­pe­ri­enced club mem­ber. For more in­for­ma­tion, send email to twin­val­leys@

Elver­son Gar­den Club

Fi­nally, out in the far north­west­ern part of Ch­ester County, is the Elver­son Gar­den Club. This fed­er­ated club en­cour­ages ed­u­ca­tion in hor­ti­cul­ture through mem­ber­ship pro­grams and work­shops. The or­ga­ni­za­tion holds monthly com­pe­ti­tions and its own an­nual flower show. In 2014 the club won a blue rib­bon from the Philadel­phia Flower Show for their ex­hibit. The club’s outreach fo­cus is the Mor­gan­town Vil­lage Li­brary Gar­den and the Tel Hai Rose Gar­den in Honey­brook.

Says cur­rent pres­i­dent Ginny Somers, “Our club is not just about gar­den­ing, but about the en­vi­ron­ment — birds, but­ter­flies — and how they all re­late and go along with gar­den­ing.” She notes that since be­com­ing fed­er­ated, club mem­bers have so many op­por­tu­ni­ties to take classes, hear dif­fer­ent speak­ers, and at­tend an­nual and quar­terly dis­trict meet­ings.

Reg­u­lar club meet­ings are held in the Mor­gan­town Vil­lage Li­brary on the first Thurs­day or the month (ex­cept Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary) at 7 p.m. For in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Somers at 610458-8192.

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