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Garden council idea blossoms for Sewickley Valley

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Leetsdale Garden Club members (from left) Mary Kay Dschuhan, Susan Montgomery, Phyllis Belcastro, Marie Frankovic and Carol Corrigan (not pictured) pack paper bags with daffodil bulbs inside the Leetsdale municipal building's community room Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. The bulbs will be distributed to residents and organizations to plant as part of the Sewickley Civic Garden Council's 50th anniversary.

Alisa Lenhardt has a vision of Sewickley becoming a “sea of gold.”

The president of the Sewickley Civic Garden Council is working with its five member garden clubs and about 20 churches, schools and organizations to plant as many daffodil bulbs in as many places as possible to make the Village pop with color in the spring.

So far, participants have signed up to plant more than 1,500 bulbs as Lenhardt works to get more people involved.

At first, the idea involved only SCGC members: Trowel and Error Garden Club, Grapevine Garden Club, Little Garden Club, Garden Club of Allegheny County and Village Garden Club. Each club was asked to plant 50 bulbs to celebrate the council's 50th anniversary.

But when one of the members asked if her church could participate, Lenhardt decided to try to involve the entirecommunity.

“My idea of planting 250 has blossomed. It's amazing,” she said.

“Most of the garden clubs have adopted a little green space in the Village that they have been taking care of for years,” Lenhardt said.

“So it was a natural fit for us to already be planting in Wolcott Park, at the post office and the Sewickley Public Library.”

Late last month, Little Garden Club members planted 100 bulbs outside Sewickley Post Office, and last week, Trowel and Error members planted about 150 at Wolcott Park to accompany about 300 tulips and 200 crocuses.

Erika Wehmeier, who has been organizing the Wolcott plantings for more than 10 years, said she likes to plant flowers in the park for the enjoyment of people who walk by.

She said if the new daffodils look good in the spring, she'd like to continue planting them.

Village Garden Club will plant special Garden Club of America bulbs, bred for that organization's 100th anniversary.

Although not a member of SCGC, Leetsdale Garden Club wanted to be involved in the project, said Mary Kay Dschuhan, the club's vice president.

Members planted about 140 bulbs in the Henle Park area in Leetsdale, and plan to plant more at another location in the Village.

They will go door to door on Beaver Street and drop off about 250 bags containing three or four bulbs each, along with directions on how to plant them in the ground or in a pot.

“I want to do this again next year, too,” she said.

She encourages anyone who has extra bulbs to call her at 724-266-3925, and she will pick them up and distribute them to homeowners.

Lenhardt, who became SCGC president this year, said part of the council's original mission was to improve the look of the Village by collaborating with all the garden clubs.

SCGC's commemorated its 50th anniversary in September with a ceremony featuring state Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, and Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, who presented citations of congratulations. The clubs are taking turns showing the citations at their meetings.

This month, SCGC past presidents will be honored at a luncheon, and a wreath-making workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 in Sewickley United Methodist Church, 337 Broad St. Fifty wreaths will be donated to businesses to hang during the holidays.

A commemorative photo book is in the works, featuring photos submitted from members.

For more information, a list of places available for plantings, and planting tips, contact Alisa Lenhardt at

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