Talk to members of a California Garden Club, and they will explain their purpose is broader than plant care and designing floral arrangements, although they enjoy doing both. The all-volunteer organization touts more than 200,000 members internationally with 20,000 members in California.
Diane Henderson is the current president of the Los Osos Garden Club, which was established November 1933 with 20 members.
“We have nine meetings a year,” Henderson said at their annual holiday gathering. “Besides seven meetings where we tour and learn, we have our annual plant sale for scholarships and our holiday potluck. This year, we celebrate our 80th anniversary.”
Henderson displayed historic scrapbooks and spoke about recent meetings, which included visits to a pumpkin and lavender farm, Arroyo Grande Ranchos de Las Flores, Cambria Nursery and Arroyo Grande’s Native Sons Wholesale Nursery. Retired Cal Poly professor Dr. Joe Sabol taught them about dahlias, owls and his watering system. Upcoming programs will tour the Elfin Herb Farm, Ron’s Nursery in Grover Beach and the Enchanted Garden in Atascadero.
The group meets the second Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. at Daisy Hill Estates clubhouse, 1595 Los Osos Valley Road. Guests are welcome.
“We get involved in our community,” said Henderson. “Ruth Pimentel will chair our project at the Los Osos Community Center where we will replant the gardens. We’ve received some donations of drought-tolerant plants and would love more volunteers to help amend the soil and replant in January. We also donate books to Los Osos Library.”
Their annual plant sale is scheduled for May 9 in the gardens behind Los Osos Rexall. The sale supports their scholarship program.
Gayle Bufo, a 2009 scholarship recipient, attended the holiday event. A senior at Cal Poly, she is majoring in marine biology. Her interest is undersea flora and fauna. Upon graduation in 2013, she plans to be an education specialist at a nonprofit facility. She said her senior project was a lesson plan on plankton, “the tiniest of plants. It is being used at the Children’s Center at the Avila Sea Life Center.”
Also recognized at the potluck were two of their eldest members, Hazel McNett Blumhorst and Marjorie Johnson. Johnson is still active locally. She chairs Amenities and Protocol with the Montaña de Oro District, which serves the Estero Bay communities.
“They caught me as soon as I moved into Los Osos,” Johnson said, “some time in the 1980s.”
The Los Osos Garden Club celebrates Dahlia Days in Morro Bay and national Arbor Day and supports the state’s Penny Project. Members donate their change, which is sent to replant California’s forests. For more information, contact Diane Henderson at 459-6617 or www.CaliforniaGardenClubs.org.
Judy Salamachas column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at email@example.com or 801-1422.