A Fresh Look at Flower Shows

National Garden Clubs (NGC) has developed a new program to promote NGC Flower Shows. The program involves the Kentucky Judges Council to encourage and mentor clubs wishing to hold a flower show by providing information and support on schedule writing, awards, and procedures and then to guide the club through the flower show process. This program is designed for garden clubs that have never held an NGC Flower Show or garden clubs that have not held a flower show in the last five years.

To get your club started on the path to a fun and successful Flower Show, please contact the Judges Council President, Mary W. Turner (mary.turner@tetratech.com | 859-361-0799). A Mentor Judge will be assigned to your club and will provide you with a packet of information about staging an NGC Flower Show, including a sample Flower Show Schedule, a list of NGC Awards, and a list of the necessary supplies that can be ordered from NGC. With assistance from your Mentor Judge, your club will tailor the information to fit your needs and preferences and will work with you throughout the process—from beginning to end. Clubs that participate will be recognized with a certificate signed by the NGC President, Mary Warshauer.

Worthy Programs Photo Archiving

The photo archiving of your club’s accomplishments celebrates the projects, events, and activities of the members of National Garden Clubs, Inc. Your club’s photographs will be posted on our website and shared across other platforms such as our Facebook page. You can share your garden club pictures with other garden clubbers and the world!

Examples of pictures for posting:

    • Blue Star Memorial plantings and dedications
    • Flower show staging
    • Wildflower plantings
    • Civic beautification projects
    • Aquatic eco-systems projects
    • Youth Gardening Projects
    • Arbor Day plantings
    • Award Ceremonies
    • School Garden Projects
    • Plant it Pink projects
    • Anything else you want to brag about!

Be sure to identify your club, district, and the location of your photo.

Send pictures to GCKY’s Photo Archiving Chair Mary W. Turner (mary.turner@tetratech.com). You may also reach Mary at 859-361-0799 if you have any questions or need additional information.

2020 KNPS Botanical Symposium

On Dec. 11, 2020, Kentucky Native Plant Society held their first virtual membership meeting and botanical symposium. For several years, KNPS has organized a botanical symposium in the fall with a goal of bringing together professionals, citizen scientists, academics, gardeners and students in order to learn about what’s going on in the world of Kentucky Botany. Despite the pandemic year, they thought it was important to continue this event.

More than 120 people gathered online for several hours of informative presentations and interesting discussions. To share the information more widely, all of the presentations are now available online:

The Kentucky Botanical Symposium 2020

William Beau Weston Awarded GCKY Enrichment Award For 2020 

This award is given annually to a non-garden club member or organization that exemplifies the goals of The Garden Club of Kentucky.                 

Thanks to the vision and dedication of one man, Danville’s tree canopy will be increased by at least 500 trees in the space of 10 years, most of them lining the city’s main streets. William Beau Weston, Professor of Sociology at Centre College, has been working for years to shade the city’s sidewalks. 

Weston walks daily from his home on St. Mildreds Court near Centre’s campus, down Main Street, to his unofficial “office” at a local coffee shop downtown.  After the ice storm of 2009 took down so many old trees, his walk lost most of its shade. His first project was to organize the householders of St. Mildreds Court to plant 26 trees on their street. This led to a more ambitious plan to shade the sidewalks of Danville, which became the Danville Tree Fund.

In 2014 Weston learned about Kentucky Utility’s “Plant for the Planet” program. The program is modeled after the United Nations Environment Program’s “Billion Tree Campaign.” The purpose of this international effort is to bring individuals, communities, and businesses together to collectively plant over one billion trees worldwide each year. 

KU’s program is designed to encourage nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to plant more trees. A grant application must be submitted each year. For 5 out of the past 6 years, Kentucky Utilities has given the Danville program a grant to match what is raised locally, up to $5,000 a year. Grant winners have not yet been announced for 2019, but there is every hope that funds collected this year will be matched for next year’s tree planting. So far approximately $35,000 raised locally has been matched by KU. This wouldn’t have happened without the dedication of Beau Weston. 

He began by asking the Danville City Commission for its blessing in applying for the grants. The commissioners enthusiastically gave him the go-ahead. This became a joint effort of many individuals and organizations. Weston worked tirelessly in the beginning to connect the people who collectively run the program and to set up a secure system for collecting and disbursing the funds raised. 

By networking with many organizations, he came up with a winning combination: The county extension agent chooses the species of trees; the Danville Beautification Committee, which is made up of local citizens, picks the spots to plant the trees; the city of Danville provides the labor to plant and maintain the trees; and the Wilderness Trace Community Foundation handles the money. This is a perfect example of different constituencies working together for the common good – the city, the state (through the extension service), volunteer civic agencies, community betterment groups, KU’s corporate foundation, and many private citizens

Weston aims to collect at least $5,000 each year and is persistent in soliciting contributions from individuals and organizations before the grant application is due in November. One hundred dollars, matched by an equal amount from KU will buy one tree, but donations of any size are accepted. The goal is 50 trees a year and, depending on tree prices, it has been up to 75 trees planted in one year.  

Every year he sends out emails to anyone who might be remotely interested and arranges for publicity in the newspaper and on social media. Local organizations have contributed since the program began, along with many individuals, families, and businesses. Each year since 2017 Weston has applied for and been awarded a $500 grant from the Garden Club of Danville, which uses profits from its garden tours to support gardening and environmental projects.          

The trees are a mixture of species, especially native ones, that are suitable for high-traffic streets. They are sizable trees three inches in diameter and about 10-feet high. The KU grant requires that the trees be watered and maintained for at least three years, which is done by the city. Each tree gets a water bag for the first year and is watered as necessary for two more years. The city of Danville picks up the trees from the seller, stores them until planting time, plants them, supplies and fills the “gator” water bags, and maintains the trees. Weston says that these larger trees have a much better survival rate than the seedlings planted by some other organizations.

In the past six years over 300 trees have been planted along Danville streets, thanks to Beau Weston’s initiative and organizational skills. He has noted that the purpose of the project is to enhance the beauty and livability of Danville by providing all the things that trees are good for – shade, beauty, oxygen, animal and insect habitat, heat control, and civic pride. The Danville Tree Fund furthers all the objectives of the Garden Club of Kentucky by promoting interest in and knowledge of trees, beautifying our community, and cooperating with other agencies to promote conservation of native plants. 

Nominated by The Garden Club of Danville  


News articles

KY Nature Preserves – News for 2020

Kentucky Nature Preserves manages four distinct programs to conserve Kentucky’s natural areas. While these programs all share common goals—rare species habitat, environmental education opportunities, and conserving natural areas through a combination of land acquisition, conservation easements, and public-private partnerships– they have some differences. Find out what’s happening in our commonwealth’s national areas by reading the 2020 Report.

 

Add to the Bird Book!

Though this has been an unusual year, it does not have to be a disappointing year. You and I can help to make it rewarding by participating in a project for our Garden Club of Kentucky president, Donna Smith!
Because we care for the environment, we love and care for our wild birds, our song birds, and a few other birds. In doing so, we collect personal experiences which we now have an opportunity to share.

Please take a few minutes to jot down a paragraph or two, recounting one of your personal avian experiences. Pictures of the bird are welcome! Email to me by March 15, 2021, and I will put your experiences in a small book form, honoring Donna, and we will dispense these at our state Convention in Berea come spring.

Here’s an example:


    A few days ago, I ran an errand in downtown Bowling Green. I pulled into a parking space across the street from a couple of large trees. As I pulled in, I looked up into these trees just in time to see three big, black crows take off in pursuit of another large bird. I was amazed to recognize this bird as a Red Tailed Hawk – in downtown Bowling Green!
  He flew into another nearby tree, followed by the crows and all settled on different branches. The crows said to each other:

“Go get him!”

“No! You go get him!”

“You two go get him, and I will keep this branch warm for you!”

While this decision was being discussed, the Hawk took wing and flew off into a bright blue, a burning blue, the wild blue yonder!


I will need at least twelve experiences from twelve members in order to go to print. So, please, take a few minutes and from your book of memories, write a paragraph or two or three about your special song bird experience for the “Bird Songs” first edition!

Jo Jean Scott, GCKY Bird Chairman
Jojogarden.34@gmail.com

Let’s Grow! How clubs increase their membership

‘Let’s Grow!’ is the theme for this administration, and we have grown!  GCKY has 15 clubs that have grown in membership over the previous year and we have gained a new club!

Some of the clubs have shared why their club has increased in membership.

  • A few new members have come from inquiries on our GCKY website and then local clubs reaching out to them.
  • No doubt word of mouth about the programs and activities is one of the best ways to gain members.
  • Invite potential members and then follow up repeatedly with invitations to meetings by e-mails or calls.
  • Club meeting attendance has even improved when current members have been contacted as well.
  • By placing information in local papers about meetings, activities, and emphasizing that the meetings are open to everyone is another good way to get potential members.
  • Having a flower show in the district brought in two new members who were interested in entering the flower show with their designs…they loved floral arranging.
  • Another new member wants to help their club with a webpage.

Our federated clubs have so much to offer!  There is a ‘hook’ for many potential members.  We need to keep letting everyone know about us and how we can impact our communities in such positive ways!

Congratulations to these clubs who increased their membership!

  • Audubon District
    • Gateway GC
  • Blue Grass District
    • Boone Co. GC
    • Gardenside Green Thumb GC
  • Dogwood District
    • Audubon Park GC
    • Beechmont GC
    • GC of Elizabethtown
    • Rambler GC
    • Warren East GC
  • Limestone District
    • Fleming Co GC
    • Four Seasons GC
    • Millersburg GC
    • Paintsville GC
  • Mountain Laurel District
    • Green Thumbs GC
    • Middlesborough GC
    • Rockcastle GC
    • Appalachian Roots GC (new club!)