Mills served as the spokesman for the group and began early by
saying that while she and Vinyard were getting the ball rolling,
they did not want the group to consider either one of them as the
official leaders of the club.
The two women had gotten together earlier in the year, and decided
that they wanted to explore whether or not there was an interest in
a club. Mills explained that she had Vinyard had agreed that having
clubs such as this strengthen a community, and that was an important
goal, especially for Vinyard.
They had also agreed that they did not want this to be a
service-oriented club. Mills explained that meant there would be no
prerequisite that club members had to perform certain tasks of
Beyond that, Mills said the formation of the club was a blank slate,
and those who would be the membership would decide what the
structure of the club would be.
Mills said that for this inaugural meeting, the group did need to
decide a few basic things, such as what is the club going to be
about, and when will they meet.
She said she would open the floor, and wanted the group to offer up
their suggestions on what they want from the Garden Club.
She received numerous responses. Some talked about wanting to learn
more about flower gardening. Others said they would like to see a
seed exchange as part of the club program. It was also mentioned
that the club might be a good place for vegetable gardeners to share
their produce instead of allowing it to go to waste.
The group also talked about when they would hold meetings. After
some discussion, they decided that they do want to meet monthly.
They took a poll and decided that they wanted evening meetings on a
weekday. After some discussion, it was decided the new club will
meet on the second Monday evening of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Mills said that the next step would be to find a meeting place that
can be used free of charge. She said she already had a couple of
suggestions that she would be checking out, and a couple of new
suggestions were given on Saturday.
Moving on, the group discussed what type of programs they wanted to
have at the monthly meetings. It was suggested that the club members
could do 'show and tell' type presentations. The group also wanted
to discuss timely gardening topics and have question-and-answer
panel discussions from time to time. Mills suggested that a good
guest speaker might be from the local soil testing laboratory, who
could talk about soil pH and plant nutrient needs. Another member
suggested there could be “make and take” workshops from time to
time. It was also suggested that the members could hold home garden
tours for club meetings. And finally, it was suggested that the
group create a flower or plant rescue program.
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They talked about how many of them often end up
with plants they can’t use but hate to discard, or they will
have a neighbor who is wanting to tear out a perennial bed and
wants to get rid of the plants. The group could “rescue” the
plants and make them available to members who wanted them.
It was also suggested that on occasion, the group could take
trips together as a club body.
Mills said the group needs to come up with a name for their new
club. Suggestions that came out immediately were “Cream of the
Crop Garden Club,” and “Gloves R Us.” Mills said those were
great suggestions, but she wanted to give everyone an
opportunity to suggest a name if they chose. She suggested that
the membership think about ideas for a name and drop her an
email if they had a suggestion.
Mills suggested that the group might want to delay deciding on
the leadership and membership dues. She said that she was a
member of a club that started with no dues and no officers. She
said that went well for quite a while. But, when the club
decided they wanted more professional guest speakers, they
realized those people want to be paid for speaking. They then
decided to implement club dues to help defer that cost.
Regarding leadership, it was suggested the group could start out
with rotating hosts or hostesses who would serve to keep the
meeting moving along. She mentioned that early on in the
formation of the club, the group might want to plan out the
activities of several future meetings, so everyone knew what was
going to be coming.
The first meeting of the club was designed to be short and ended
within about 30 minutes. The group did decide that they will
meet again on Monday, April 11th at 6:30 p.m. They have an
expectation that once established meetings will last
approximately two hours. Mills said she would search out a
location and let everyone know where the meeting will be held on
Anyone who was unable to attend last week’s meeting, but would
still like to be involved in the club, is welcome. Mills can be
contacted via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and Vinyard can be contacted at