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Valley Garden Club growing

| Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An article in a recent edition of the Tribune-Review stated that "the forecast looks cloudy for garden club membership."

It accurately listed causes such as aging parents, growing children and work schedules that demand the attention of persons who could become potential members.

We have several garden clubs in our area and one in particular, The Valley Garden Club, could be called "small but mighty."

"We schedule our monthly meetings for appropriate hours, strive to have interesting and educational programs and plan for events that include public participation," said Mardell Page, who is giving up the post as president after a 12-year reign.

She said the club encourage new members. The daytime meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month at Lynnwood Lutheran Church.

One popular event in which the public participates is the annual November luncheon. Guests are given a synopsis of gardening interests, enjoy a delicious luncheon and, possibly, leave with special prizes or purchases.

The last event featured a candle centerpiece, sharing tree and German gingerbread house. Each person attending received a cinnamon gingerbread man.

All particulars are tied in to a central theme each year.

Members are already looking forward to this fall's event.

The club sponsored its biennial flower show, called "Sunshine in the Valley," last month.

After months of planning and instructions, members entered 140 horticultural specimens into the showing, which was held at Willowbrook Plaza. There were nine classes of design with 36 arrangements, two educational tables and an invitational exhibit table.

Nine certified judges from the state judged each class separately.

Participants were guided by a set of strict rules which include such things as size of flower or stem and even the type of container used.

The exhibit, free of charge to the public, was a beauty to behold.

There were specific awards given, too numerous to list here, but some particular "firsts" were to Angie Raitano who received the Award of Excellence Award for her iris display and Kay Fernandez for the Designer's Choice Award for her display called "Sunrise, Sunset."

Mary Mitchell, Grace Martin, Mardell Page Marilyn Bradley, Janice Yeaton, Mona Menzer and Nickki Raitano came away with specific ribbons for their entries.

Angie Raitano was chairman of the show and Page, co-chairman.

If you missed this event, you'll have to wait until 2008 for the next one.

"It takes a lot of preparation (and gardening) to put on a Standard Flower Show," Page said.

Janice Yeaton is the new Valley Garden Club president; Stefanie McCulloch, vice president; Grace Martin, secretary, and Jan Bitonti, treasurer.

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