Garden clubs are a great way to share your horticulture hobby with other like-minded individuals. It’s a space where you can learn all about plant life and share your gardening ideas. They can be as small as a group of friends or as large as a neighborhood! Many of them take an interest in preservation of local natural habitats and general community service.
Members of garden clubs come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone can start or join one! You don’t even have to be experienced because the clubs provide a safe space for novices to learn and grow their own hobby.
Still, it’s understandable if you’re on the fence about joining one. Or maybe you are a part of a garden club, but you don’t know about the full benefits you can be taking advantage of. Luckily for us, we were able to sit down with Gay Austin, the 46th president of the National Garden Clubs (NGC), to get all the details!
“Our partnership with Espoma has been great since the start,” Gay says. “We both had a goal in mind for garden clubs. Espoma had the products, and the NGC had the programs. So we just meshed together.” One great outcome of this partnership has been our grant program. Every year we select 20 clubs to give $250 grants to, and then we get to watch their ideas flourish!
These grants help your club receive funding to complete different types of projects. Whether it’s needed for tools, disaster relief management, or education—your chosen project can be almost anything. “It can be as simple as a flowerbed in a public space,” Gay tells us, “as long as it’s providing knowledge for what plants are needed.”
Want to show hospital patients how colorful flowers can brighten their rooms? How about beautifying a local school? Whether you’re focusing on wildlife conservation or want to give back to your community with a public garden renovation, the possibilities of eligible projects are endless! Gay told us she hopes to see future projects where clubs get together to replant native plants that were destroyed from natural disasters.
If you’re interested in becoming one of our grant winners, all you need to do is complete the application. Attach some photos and explain your project. Then, wait and see if you’ve been selected. If you have, be sure you send us photos of your completed project and local press information so we can spread the word about your great work! Don’t forget to check out our recent grant winners above the application.
Gay looks back fondly on past winners who have brought wonderful projects to life using the grants. “Many clubs focus on beautifying their cities,” She says. “Some clubs bring projects to senior citizens in assisted living facilities. Those citizens go from living in a home with a garden to only being able to have potted plants. So bringing the joy of horticulture back to them is really beneficial.” These projects can affect people as old as these senior citizens to children in school.
Whether or not you’re interested in an Espoma grant, we still want to hear about your garden club! Tell us via Twitter using the hashtag #EspomaGardenClub for a chance to be featured on our social media. We’ll be spreading the word about other garden clubs in the meantime, so stay tuned for some inspiration.