West Valley Garden Club Activities


Our Chapter Meeting Programs for this Year included a program on floral design with ideas for centerpieces and table designs that could be used for our fall/fundraiser tea, a local nursery owner discussed planting fall and winter vegetables for a horticulture program, a USC Doctor of Pharmacy, Dr. James Adams demonstrated common uses of California native plants as medicinal aids, a program on how to identify birds and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count as part of Environmental Responsibility, Civic Beauty is discussed as part of a presentation on the history of our club and Orcutt Ranch Park. In the spring we will have a program on conservation by a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Lake Hughes Nursery that grows trees from seeds, in April Steve List President of the Valley Chapter of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers will talk about edible landscaping and general gardening, and in May our club will present awards for local Civic Beauty winners, Smokey Bear Post Contest winners and our three Scholarships will be presented. Our last meeting of the year is in June when we will install our new officers, view the Historian's Achievement Book, hear a Convention report and enjoy our annual hat parade.

Our Floral Design classes this year include lessons on an abstract design using dried materials, twin container design, using vegetables and/or fruits in a design, learn about tapestry designs, how to use spring flowers in an arrangement, miniature floral designs, using a picture in a design, and a back to back or duo arrangement. Click here to view a Floral Design photo-story.

Lesson Using Fruits and Vegetables

We have 38 Committees who work on our garden club projects each year. In April members of the Executive Board use the display below to educate new and old members about the activities of each committee to help members decide what sign up for during the coming year. The left 3-panel display lists our committees in alphabetical order with a brief description of what each committee does. There were sign-up sheets on the table below the display. The right 3-panel display included our Yearbook, the “Golden Gardens” magazine, duties of a hostess, club awards and on the table were updated Procedure Books for the major committees.

We maintain a Library at Orcutt Ranch where members may check out books on gardening, floral design, landscape design, birds and butterflies for one month. Our librarian polls the members about what books they would like to have added to the library.

A member designed a club T-shirt as a Small Fundraiser. Members wear the shirts when participating in community activities to show pride in our club. The logo has a picture of Orcutt Park Ranch building where our club meets.

Members of the Gardening Angels had worked with students to maintain 80 rose bushes at the Calvert Street Elementary School for 13 years. Click here to view our Student Rose Garden photo-story.

We hold Monthly Plant Sales where members bring plants they have propagated and a committee brings plants propagated by Sylmar High School FFA students for members to purchase. Some proceeds from the sales were used to donate $100 toward their scholarship awards event.

Our annual Fall Fundraiser is a tea where members contribute plants, collectibles, baked goods, crafts and gift baskets for sale followed by a luncheon prepared by members. Members and guests enjoyed a speaker who appraised antique items brought in by members and guests. The funds generated are used to support our three scholarships for horticulture students, the Theodore Payne Native Plant Foundation, Campo de Cahuenga, CSUN Botanic Garden, and Conejo Botanic Garden. Click here to view a photo-story about our Fall 2015 Fundraiser.

Our Civic Beauty Committee tours local residential and business gardens to choose three winners for the May meeting. All winners are invited to our May program to be introduced, talk briefly about their garden and enjoy a pot luck lunch with club members.

The Scholarship Committee publicized the scholarships at Canoga Park High School, Pierce Jr. College and West Valley Occupational Training Center. Due to success with our annual fundraiser, we are able to award three $1,000.00 scholarships in May.

We support the San Fernando Valley District by hosting a meeting once a year, members support their fund raising bus tour which will tour the Seaside Gardens and Nursery in Carpenteria this year.

In April we plan a bus tour to the Southern California Garden Show in Costa Mesa. Their two-story central floral display is spectacular.

Members of the Smokey Bear Poster Contest committee distributes fliers to local elementary schools to encourage students to enter the contest for the 15th year. A committee judges all the entries and submits winners for the state contest. In June 2015 we had five state winners, two Pacific Region and two national winners.