Welcome Members and Guests
If you are interested in becoming a member, please email our membership chair, Barb Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barb will contact you, answer your questions, and explain the simple process for becoming a member. We welcome your interest, and hope you will find our club stimulating and enjoyable, regardless of your gardening experience.
To stimulate and further the interest of horticulture, landscape design and flower arranging. We also encourage conservation and protection of all natural resources. It is our objective to promote the Kalamazoo Garden Council and the Michigan Garden Clubs. We have a long tradition as a garden club and the advantages of belonging are both educational and social as well as being part of a larger organization
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Gardening, like everything else, brings its own set of challenges and this year it is especially true as our world is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our programs may look different as we begin the new fiscal year. We must be more creative in how we meet, learn, and share our knowledge. Each of us has our own set of talents and it’s important that we continue sharing those gifts in new ways. In these changing and uncertain times, we hold true to our club’s long history and draw strength from the support and friendship within our membership.
~ Mary Verleger
Our meetings are typically held at 12:30 PM on the 2nd Friday of the month. The location varies depending on our program. Typically, a short business meeting is followed by an interesting speaker or a workshop. A seasonal centerpiece and light refreshments are arranged by a host committee and club members enthusiastically share their gardening knowledge and their friendship. There are also a number of events throughout the year that you can participate in according to your interest and available time. All of these events are terrific opportunities to have fun, meet talented fellow gardeners, increase your knowledge of gardening, and provide valued community service.
- President: Mary Verleger
- 1st Vice-President: Donna Robinson
- 2nd Vice-President: Betty Ferrence
- Recording Secretary: Chris Morgan
- Corresponding Secretary: Gail Hadley
- Treasurer: Sue Conat
- Nominations: Jan Keys
- Council Directors: Phyllis Straw
Fiscal Year: July through June
Dues is $30 and also included membership in Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc., and National Garden Clubs, Inc.
- Planting seasonal container gardens and hanging fence baskets at the Hospital Hospitality House.
- Floral arrangements presented to individuals and organizations.
- Annual Spring Plants and More Sale
- Annual President’s Project
- People’s Choice Award at a local flower show
- Active participants in the Kalamazoo Garden Council Annual Greens Sale
- Active participation in the Kalamazoo Garden Council biennial Standard Flower Show.
- Revamping and maintaining the Welcome to Kalamazoo Northside Neighborhood sign planting area.
Upcoming Monthly Meetings
Friday, June 11, 2021 Annual Meeting and Luncheon
Our Annual Meeting and Luncheon takes a more casual turn this year. We will meet on the beautiful lawn of the Kalamazoo Garden Council House for a review of our past year, a “garden treasures exchange” and a picnic lunch provided by Ample Pantry.
Friday, July 9, 2021 Heirloom Seeds
KA Garden Club member Scott Stokes will present a program on heirloom seeds. Former co-owner of Southern Exposure Herb Farm in Calhoun County, Scott brings a deep knowledge of all things related to gardening.
Friday, August 13, 2021 Hosta Garden Tour
We will take a leisurely stroll through the grounds of Sue and Bill Binnings and their 350 varieties of hostas. We will also enjoy the creative ways they have incorporated art in the gardens.
A Look Back at Previous Meetings
Annual Plants and More Sale May 14, 2021
How thrilled we were to finally meet in person again, most of us fully vaccinated, to prepare for our Annual Plants and More Sale. Our most important fundraiser, the plant sale raises the money we use for our superb monthly programs, and for generous donations we make to several area local organizations. This year the plant sale was a resounding success and our membership is ready to start getting back to normal with in-person meetings.
In “normal times” there is an interesting program, speaker or tour on a variety of gardening related topics at our monthly meetings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have missed these valued experiences and look forward to resuming them soon. Meanwhile we have planned some creative ways to stay connected through various means including a pen-pal project and sharing photos of our gardens in a slideshow. \In a two-part series via Zoom, one of our members demonstrated how to make a fresh greens arrangement during our November meeting this year.
Annual Guest Luncheon November 9, 2019
We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the Kalamazoo Country Club during our annual Guest Luncheon. Member Sharon Ridge Yantis gave us many tips and fascinated us with her beautiful seasonal arrangements – created on the spot! And we welcomed four new members with a delicious Boonzaaijer cake for dessert.
Table Artistry October 11, 2019
We had great fun during our table artistry program on October 11, 2019. Six teams of members and two independent judges made for a valuable learning opportunity for all!
We celebrated our achievements and enjoyed lunch at the Park Club on Friday, June 14, 2019.
Kalamazoo Garden Club Members Attend the Kalamazoo Garden Council Annual Meeting on June 11, 2019
KA Garden Club Plants a Garden under the New Council House Sign
Plants and More Sale
Friday, May 10, 2019
We had a great selection of perennials for sun and shade direct from our members’ gardens! We also had planted annual pots, herbs and fresh floral arrangements for Mother’s Day. Our tent featured garden crafts and items for both indoors and out.
Saturday, April 13th, members prepared garden art and crafts for the Annual Plants and More Sale:
April 12, 2019 – Pressed Flowers
Kalamazoo Garden Council House
What fun we had learning about pressed flowers from a fellow Council member. Even better was taking home a few beautiful examples we made ourselves.
March 8, 2019 – Vandersalm’s Garden Center
VanderSalm’s provided an interesting and informative program on Shade Gardens, and the best part was learning that all the plants featured in the presentation are available at the Garden Center!
January 11, 2019 – Wedel’s Garden Center
Wedel’s provided an informative and entertaining presentation on succulents. We learned how to pot them, water them, feed them, and not kill them! A brief business meeting, delicious snacks and the friendship of those who love gardening made for a delightful January afternoon.
November 9, 2018 – Kalamazoo Country Club
Our Annual Guest Day Luncheon was highlighted by a fresh flower arranging presentation by the talented and entertaining Dorothy Hockmuth. Afterward, Dorothy’s beautiful creations were auctioned off and a few lucky members and guests went home with a fabulous seasonal arrangement.
October 12, 2018 – Monarch Butterflies
Our program featured the Monarch Butterfly. We learned interesting background information and valuable updates about this important species – our state butterfly. A great time with garden friends!
September, 2018 – Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
We visited the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary (now celebrating 90 years) and learned about the importance of planting pollinator gardens and native species.
August, 2018 – Raising Hops
One of our new members hosted our club at her home where she showed us what is involved in raising hops for her husband’s craft beer hobby. Of course we were invited to a sample after the tour!
July, 2018 – WMU Gibbs House
The Italianate home on Parkview Ave is part of a gardening sustainability project for edible and native plants conducted by WMU students. Our tour guide was the leader of the project, Dan Bair. We saw hoop houses, a food forest and and a variety of interesting planting areas.
Organized in 1928 — Federated in 1934
In 1928, there were three garden clubs in Kalamazoo, comprised of men and women. The men worked in the garden and the women acted as hostesses. However, women could spade, hoe and rake too, so on June 22, 1928, seven women with a common interest in flower gardening and beautifying the city, banded together and formed a new club created exclusively for women.
This new club was called “The Kalamazoo Unit of the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association”. They met twice a month and dues were $2 a year. The club grew slowly (15 members in 1929) and was the smallest Garden Club in the city through the 20’s and 30’s.
The club was first federated in 1934 and the name was changed several time before finally establishing the name of Kalamazoo Garden Club, in 1950. In 2003, Kalamazoo Garden Club celebrated its 75th birthday with a big garden party.
Early fund raising events included bridge parties; quilt raffles and finally guest day luncheons with popular speakers. Today plant sales and auctions of garden related sales and silent auctions help fund a wide variety of programs and speakers.
The club also plants trees in local parks. Members of the Kalamazoo Garden Club have long been active in beautifying the Kalamazoo community. Currently members work in the garden of Hospital Hospitality House bringing beauty and serenity to those staying there while their family member is in the hospital. Our latest project, begun in Spring of 2021 is the revamping and maintenance of the Welcome to Kalamazoo Northside Neighborhood sign planting area. We are proud to be helping this under-served neighborhood look it’s best!