A Note from our Presidents, Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West

 2017-2018 Co-Presidents Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West and their Executive Committee

2017-2018 Co-Presidents Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West and their Executive Committee

A new Garden Club year is beginning and I am excited at what is in store.  We gather as gardeners, environmentalists, artists and floral designers, but most especially as friends who generously share their talents to benefit us all.

We are delighted to have sixteen new members who will be officially welcomed in September at a Tea held at the lovely home of Barbara Doren.    You will recognize them at our Club meeting by a yellow flower on their badges, so please introduce yourself and make them feel welcome.

Our theme this year is “Gardening is good for wildlife, for people and for society”.

As a keen gardener, I joined the Royal Horticulture Society while in England this summer, and was intrigued to see how much power they attribute to gardeners to restore our environment by gardening with nature in mind.  Two take-home messages resonated for me – first, that to be good for wildlife, pollinators and our planet, a garden does not have to be wild or unruly; wildlife are happy with symmetry and beautiful design.  Secondly, a RHS study has shown that a mixture of the exotic and native plants in fact attracts more pollinators than areas with purely natives! 

When you pick up your yearbook I hope you will take the time to read about the upcoming speakers, workshops, field trips and the many activities our Club undertakes.  Committee Chairs have been working through the summer, researching, planning and organizing for the year’s events.  Do let them know you appreciate their efforts.  Also I want to recognize the painstaking work that has been put into the yearbook by Mercedes Bartolomei-Penner, the editor, working with Kate Engler and Donna McClay on the roster, and Sara Carpenter who processed all the membership data, contact information and committee choices.  It’s a lot of work in front of the computer, but with such valuable results!  Among new features this year is the first name index.  How many times do you know a person by their first name, but can’t remember their last?  Here is the answer! 

While the Refreshments table with its beautiful floral arrangements is a great attraction, don’t miss out on visiting all the tables around the room.  Horticulture, Market Place and the Holiday Pantry Sale have new, creative, and tempting ideas.   There are many wonderful things about our Garden Club – and Robin Vandever will be making a collection in a new Garden Club book, titled Our Favorite Things!

This September meeting we will vote on the budget for the year.  We are so lucky to have Cindy Lococo, as our Treasurer.  Her calm and competent skill in managing our finances and preparing the budget is priceless! 

Although our membership is a little lower this year – I fear parking will still present a challenge.  We will continue with the valet-assisted parking, but CBI has only 106 spaces.  So, for some of us the options will be: street parking, UTC with a fee, or finding a partner with whom to carpool.  If we could pair people up with just one other person, it would make a huge difference.  I plan to carpool with my neighbor, Eva!

Bonnie and I have found that working together as co-presidents makes managing our large club much easier.  Bonnie will be away for our September meeting undergoing a 5-week intensive, new treatment that offers hope of restoring losses incurred in her stroke some twenty years earlier.  We wish her much success with this.  She returns at the end of September.

I look forward to meeting you all again on September 27 for another great year!