Glenwood Garden Club marks 85th year
The self-guided tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9, and is open to the public. Tickets are $10 or $15 the day of the show and can be purchased from garden club members, Glenwood Sew or the Downtown Market on Tuesday.
Residents of Glenwood Springs may be noticing more color along the streets and sidewalks of downtown. Flower pots line the street corners. Gardens have sprung up in new places along Grand Avenue.
This beautification effort is thanks in large part to one of the town’s oldest entities, the Glenwood Springs Garden Club.
“That was a project that the garden club undertook, and it was perfect,” said club president Ann English. “We try to do positive beautification projects in the town, which is what the garden club has always done.”
As the oldest continuously operating club in town, the garden club has a rich history with deep roots in Glenwood.
The club was started in 1931 with between six and eight members. Since then, it has grown in members and identity. It now consists of over 70 members aged from their 50s to 70s.
For its members, the club is much more than a hobby.
“It’s amazing, the knowledge of people in this club,” said English. “There are a lot of master gardeners, and there are a lot of people willing to share everything from their gardens too.”
Sharill Hawkins, one of the longest-tenured members, believes the same thing.
“I was 42 when I joined, and I was the youngest by a lot when I started,” Hawkins said, “but I stuck with it because I knew it was one of the most supportive groups. I was interested in gardening, but it was a really supportive group of women. They were really interested in what anybody new to the community was doing, and they wanted to help even with things not related to gardening.”
Although the club means a lot to its members, in recent years, English has tried to change the identity and focus of the club to be more community-oriented and educational.
“We have programs that are very, very educational,” English said. “We try to plan those. Some of them are more social, but most of them are very educational programs, and we have a big variety every year. We want to be active in the community as well.”
This is where the beautification projects have come in. Members of the garden club have spoken in front of City Council and taken it upon themselves to get projects like the street flower pots under way.
With the help of other members like Hawkins, who participates in a community outreach role, the club has become much more active in Glenwood’s affairs. Active member participation and community activism has helped the garden club become a major player in the appearance of the town specifically.
Now the garden club is gearing up for its biggest event of the year.
For 67 years the garden club put on a flower show, a type of exhibition where the members showed off their work to the public. In 2001, the club stopped putting on the show because of a drought, which caused a water shortage. The club hasn’t done the event since.
“It was interesting to us that as long as this club has been here, they never had a garden tour,” said English, “and there are beautiful, amazing gardens in our town.”
Instead of throwing a big 85th anniversary party, the garden club has decided to concentrate on showcasing what its members have been working on all these years in the form of a public garden tour.
This will be the second time the garden club has put on a tour. Members last did it in 2014 and are planning on making it a biannual event in years to come.
Eight gardens will be showcased in the tour, including two community gardens and six private gardens that members have maintained at their homes. Each garden has its own unique plants and themes ranging from rose gardens to Zen gardens to vegetable gardens, among others.
The garden club asks that participants meet at the Community Center so that people can carpool to the various locations, several of which will be private homes. They also request no pets or strollers on the tour.
The tour is sponsored by several local businesses, and the proceeds will go toward other Glenwood beautification projects led by the garden club.
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