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Horticulture…It’s What Garden Clubs Are All About!

Horticulture is defined as the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants. That is what gardening is and what garden clubs are all about.

How clubs participate in horticulture varies. They may have speakers on plants and garden design, or they may visit public or private gardens or greenhouses to see plants growing. Some clubs have short informational talks by their horticultural chair at every meeting. Plant sales are common fundraisers, as are garden tours during the summer months. Nearly every club maintains public plantings to help beautify their community.

At the state level, the Garden Club Federation of Maine focuses on horticulture in most everything we do. Convention speakers’ topics pertain to gardening and we feature a garden tour at this annual gathering. “Open Garden Days” are held in private gardens around the state each summer with informational sessions on gardening featured at each one.

“Maine Grows” is our members-only newsletter emailed each month. It is written by garden club members for members and is all about gardening in Maine. Our state horticulture chair organizes special workshop days for members and also writes a column for our bi-monthly newsletter, “Thyme to Garden”. She/he stays on top of any important news coming from the State of Maine horticulturist and keeps members informed.

National Garden Clubs, Inc. offers Gardening School and Landscape Design School curriculums through different states and sometimes available via Zoom. They also offer a science based Environmental School. Maine’s popular Master Gardener program, offered through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, was originally modeled after NGC’s Gardening School. While the curriculums are similar, the garden club version has a greater focus on ornamentals and has no volunteer requirement. All of the schools give members the opportunity to learn from professional instructors.

If you want to learn how to grow…join a garden club!

Floral Design

Years ago, floral design was a major focus for many garden clubs.  Today, it is still an important part of the program in many clubs.  Some choose to create simple arrangements for their own enjoyment or for groups in their communities, such as Meals on Wheels.  Other clubs have members whose designs are of flower show quality.  Flower shows are sometimes staged at the club or state levels, often in conjunction with other gatherings such as conventions.  Art in Bloom is a popular activity, with floral arrangements interpreting works of art. Open Garden Days have featured demonstrations on how to make country style arrangements with both garden and wildflowers.

The GCFM Judges Council, made up of National Garden Club certified flower show judges, leads workshops for members to learn more about the art of design. All floral design workshops are held in the auditorium of the Parish Hall at St. Mary’s Church, 43 Foreside Road (Rt. 88), Falmouth, Maine, starting at 10 a.m.  Registration and payment are required in advance.

Complete descriptions of workshops and materials required are emailed when your registration is received.  Check our Calendar of Events for dates and registration details.

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