As a child, I remember my grandmother talking about her garden club’s projects and meetings. Come to find out, Texas garden clubs have been around for more than 80 years.
I recently learned that many garden clubs across the state are disbanding due to lack of membership. So I thought I would research and share my findings to inspire others to look into these worthwhile groups and what they do for their communities.
The Texas Garden Club became a public organization in the late 1920s, and has grown through the years to cover much of the Lone Star State. It is part of the National Garden Club, which links it with groups all over the U.S.
According to its website, Texas Garden Club Inc. “promotes the love of gardening, floral design, horticulture, civic responsibilities, landscaping, environmental concerns and garden therapy for men, women and children and encourages participation and support in educational programs for both the very young and advanced students.”
The website also states that the organization serves aims to “preserve, protect and conserve the natural resources of this country and to maintain and enhance the beauty of our lands.”
All garden clubs are not the same, depending on leadership; but overall, most garden clubs provide opportunities for education on gardening and floral design. Members sponsor community service projects, help educate children in local schools, provide scholarships for college students majoring in a horticultural field of study and teach seminars on recycling, water catchment and anti-littering campaigns. They hold annual garden shows/plant sales, promote recognition of veterans, attend state and national conferences, and of course, socialize as people with a passion for plants and the environment.
It’s rather sad that there is a decline in the interest and membership in these local groups and I hope that they will prevail.
In these days of hectic schedules and high technological gadgets, joining a local garden club might be a refreshing opportunity for socializing, learning new techniques, addressing local environmental concerns and being part of a historic Texas tradition.
Darla Menking is a certified Bell County Texas Master Gardener and a Texas Master Naturalist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.