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Garden Club

Jauneta StoutIf you are wondering what 30 Years and 30 Friends is all about, I apologize for the confusion. It is about a garden club.

We were touring Historic Williamsburg, Va. when I saw this heart-stopping bouquet. It was huge, with roses, crepe myrtle, boxwood and flowers that I could not name. I wanted a bouquet like that, even a small one would do. So began my journey to grow beautiful flowers, and start a garden club.

My husband was a farmer and we had a vegetable garden, but I had failed at marigolds. The dog wanted that spot for his naps.

I had a good friend who was an experienced flower gardener. She grew lilies, tree peonies, wildflowers, and numerous others in her shady garden. Excepting winter, Jane always had a fresh bouquet on her kitchen table. Not exactly Williamsburg, but they were lovely.

We decided to found a garden club and visited a woman who had done just that. Her advice was; potential members should be willing to get their hands dirty.

Most country women worked hard in vegetable gardens. Planting, weeding, harvesting and then the cooking. My friend taught me that a garden was more than just vegetables. It helped that her husband cared for the vegetables, all she had to do was cook what he brought in.

We began our experiment with 10 women, some older and some younger than me. But they all wanted snapdragons on the kitchen table. Some of them already did a lot with flowers. One woman had windowsills full of geraniums blooming all winter. She brought them in in the fall and replanted them in the spring. Hopefully we would learn from each other.

We gave the state garden club a pass and planned our own programs. Guest speakers from the near-by university helped. We took van trips to garden centers in Cincinnati and locally. Members shared their research.

The social time was fun, some shared slips of begonias and others made ice-cream and angel food cake for refreshments. After 30 years we have chosen to limit membership to 30.

One of the programs I gave was on flower poetry, including this one.

Red Geraniums

"Life did not bring me silken gowns, nor jewels for my hair,
Nor signs of gabled foreign towns in distant countries fair,
But I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill,
And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill."

This is the first stanza of a poem written by Martha Haskell Clark.

P.S. In reference to the blog about seed starting, be sure to use only STARTING soil, not potting soil. Voice of experience.

pink geranium in my window