6 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Join Your Local Garden Club

published May 29, 2022
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The first garden club was held in the home of Dr. Edwin Dorset Newton, according to National Garden Clubs. Twelve women gathered one cold January in 1891 to establish the Ladies’ Garden Club of Athens. Obviously those ladies were onto something, because the tradition is still very much alive, and carried out in homes (and community centers, libraries, and other public spaces) around the world. “Today, garden clubs have the same mission: to bring together people who have a passion for horticulture,” explains Mary Phillips, Head of Garden for Wildlife. “Modern garden clubs unite people of all ages who live in a common place and share a common love of flowers, shrubs, and vegetables.” Here’s what you need to know about today’s garden clubs — and why you can benefit from joining one yourself. 

It’s cheap to get started.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to join. “It’s an inexpensive hobby,” says Craig Wilson, Director of Gardener’s Dream and head of his own gardening club. “You don’t even have to have your own garden to join our club. You just have to be interested in gardening and bring some gloves and a hoe!” Although, he adds, sometimes you might be in charge of bringing the snacks!

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It can benefit your community.

Many clubs garden for a purpose through community service and beautification projects, according to Phillips (think: creating pollinator gardens at your township offices or building a communal plot to share fruit and veggies with your neighbors). “For many years, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Garden Club, Inc. have worked together,” she says, adding that they’ve focused on gardening for wildlife in a variety of states, including launching Community Wildlife Habitats. 

It helps you stay active.

Wilson believes that joining a garden club can benefit anyone (especially older people) because it’s a great reason to get out and get moving while not being too physically taxing. “It is a healthy activity: It’s not too strenuous and if you factor in the fresh air and vitamin D, it’s a pretty healthy hobby,” he says.

Gardening soothes the soul.

As the head of a garden club of his own, Wilson says the best benefit of gardening is the peace of mind it brings. “There is something about gardening that is soothing to the soul and it is always fun and interesting,” he says. Inner peace? Sign me up! 

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There are garden club events.

Most garden clubs have annual events, which can turn into great opportunities to socialize with your neighbors, “from garden tours, to plant shows, seed swaps, plant sales, and more,” says Phillips. “Many, if not all, of the events are typically free for members to attend as well. You could also organize your own events.” I’m not going to lie, garden parties alone sound like an enticing enough reason to join. 

You can learn something new.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a green thumb or you’re just getting started, Wilson says you’re likely to pick up something new at club meetings. And Phillips agrees. “No matter how experienced you are, there is always something to learn, new plants to discover, and [ways to] get inspired,” she says. “If you’re already an avid gardener, this is a chance to share advice and tips with the beginners.”

You can also fine tune the things you already know and hone your skills, or learn about brand new things like composting, floral design, or even beekeeping!