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Cloverdale Comments - March 2016

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Cloverdale Comments - March 2016

by Carol Russell

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. —H. Fred Dale

To be part of the Cloverdale’s Green Thumb Garden Club (GTGC), your thumb doesn‘t have to be green, you just have to have an interest in learning more about growing wonderful things. When we sat outside of Plank Coffee in the warm sun, sipping cups of tea and chatting with Carolyn Atkins, President of GTGC, we found her warm, outgoing and very knowledgeable, but never intimidating. She is clearly proud to be a member and an officer of GTGC and really loves what it is and what the Club stands for.

The GTGC was started in 1959 by Cloverdalians who shared an interest in gardening and flower arranging. But that was not their only purpose – they were also inspired to engage in civic beatification. Among their projects, “The City Park was one of the first to get assistance from the Club”, Carolyn pointed out. Over the years Jefferson Elementary School has also received their help completing landscaping and today, as you drive up to the north end of town, look for “The Point”, a rather large triangle of greenery at the corner of Oak and Cloverdale Boulevard that separates the busy roadway from the street climbing up the gentle hillside, leading to the private homes overlooking The Point. This community garden was beautifully designed, planted with trees and shrubs and is currently maintained by the GTGC. Further south on Cloverdale Boulevard where it intersects with Franklin Street in front of Saint Peter’s Church, you can see a smaller but similar area cared for by the Club.

Immediately joining in community activities, the GTGC has been participating in the Cloverdale Citrus Fair for 57 years, entering exhibitions and often winning prizes. The main exhibition is a theme related installation utilizing citrus fruits in its elements. This year’s Pirates of the Fair’ibbean theme resulted in a vivid and inventive display, Treasure Island, winning a 2nd place.

Another expression of the Green Thumb Garden Club’s commitment to Cloverdale is found in the two $500 scholarships for Cloverdalian students continuing on to SRJC. Application time is here; last filing date is March 17th. For scholarship criteria, go to: ScholarshipAwards

Carolyn told us, “Socializing is an important aspect of the Club.” Networking at the meetings over refreshments, going on field trips, and participating in projects not only gets things to grow, it brings people together, growing relationships and friends.

Carolyn is an example. She arrived in Cloverdale not really knowing anybody. She joined the GTGC where she made many friends while she fed her passion for gardening.

Spring Plant Sale – a great place to meet these gardeners and get your starts!

(Note: Carol, co-author of this piece, describes herself as the worst gardener in Cloverdale and she counts the plants she purchases at the Spring Plant Sale among the only plants with which she has any success.) Each year the Club members gather together in late winter, plant hundreds of seeds, propagate and divide plants in preparation for their plant sale. Great prices and a worth while assortment of garden finds! Saturday, April 9th; 9 am – 2 pm; ACE Hardware lot, 750 South Cloverdale Blvd. By supporting this major fundraiser, you support their projects in the community.

Monthly meetings feature a guest speaker talking about garden related subjects. The community is invited to attend any of these meetings. On April 27th, the topic is IKEBANA, the Japanese art of elegant flower arrangement, including demonstrations. Special field trips are held in May. This year the Club is going Hallberg Butterfly Garden in Sebastopol. Other special events come along such as a potluck in September, a Christmas party, and the Officer Installation in June. Each member is encouraged to participate in projects and hosting events as time and physical capacity allow. Member teams host the monthly meetings, but with 60 plus members your turn comes only once every couple years.

Regular meetings are October through April on the 4th Wednesday; 1 pm; Fire Creek Lodge, 215 Red Mountain Drive, Cloverdale. For more information about the Green Thumb Garden Club contact Carolyn Atkins at 707-894-4662.