Think Spring: Join the Silver Spring Garden Club

One of the most active metro Washington area garden clubs

Club history

In
the spring of 1940, a small group of gardeners met at the Jessup Blair
Community House to form the Silver Spring Garden Club. The first
meetings were held in the old County Building or in members’ homes.
They held the first plant sale, the first picnic, and the first garden
tour by 1941. They also won awards for flower arrangements. The first
“Home and Garden Mart” was held in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Charles
Williams, one of the original founders. 

From 1942 to 1946,
the club cooperated with the war effort by planting Victory Gardens,
donating money, magazines, and flowers to various war projects,
including Walter Reed Hospital’s Forest Glen Annex. The club donated
over 30,000 bulbs to Jessup Blair Park to honor Silver Spring‘s World
War II servicemen and women. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Silver
Spring Garden Club provided volunteer help to the Maryland-National
Capital Park and Planning Commission for small park maintenance,
clean-up after storms, and springtime spruce-ups.


The club
participated in the landscaping of schools, hospitals, and libraries
during the 1950s and ’60s. They took an active part in the landscaping
of the Great Oaks Center (which served mentally challenged persons) by
donating trees, planting bulbs and daylilies, and assisting with garden
maintenance for 15 years. Flower shows were held around the area
including the then newly opened Wheaton Plaza.

The Silver
Spring Garden Club has actively supported Brookside Gardens in Wheaton,
MD, with funds and volunteers since 1969. They have donated funds and
plants to its landscape projects including the Fragrance Garden for the
Blind, the Winter Garden, and the Rose Garden. The club has provided
funds for the library and for benches along the walks. In 1969, they
began hosting the annual December “Holiday Open House” in the
conservatories. In recent years, they have co-sponsored Brookside’s
annual “Green Matters” symposiums, the annual “Wings of Fancy”
butterfly exhibit, and the annual winter “Garden of Lights” show.

The
club currently donates funds to Montgomery County Master Gardeners
which works with autistic children to grow gardens. The club has also
given past support to other gardening organizations and environmental
groups.

The club has sponsored annual overseas tours to
world-renowned public and private gardens. Their travels have taken
them to Southern England (1995), France (1996), Italy (1997), Wales,
Scotland, and Northern England (1998), France (1999), Southern England
(2000), Northern Italy (2001), Great Britain (2002), and Italy and
France (2003). The tours have included London’s Chelsea Flower Show,
the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and the national flower shows of
Monaco, France and Scotland.

Current Profile

Their
membership numbers and activities have increased over the years from
modest beginnings. They have won many honors and awards for their
activities. With about 150 active members, they are one of the largest
gardening clubs in the Washington, DC area.

The general
meetings of the Silver Spring Garden Club are open to the public. The
meetings are held on the third Monday of every month (except July,
August, and December) starting at 8:00PM, in Brookside Gardens
Visitors Center/Education Building auditorium, 1800 Glenallan Avenue,
in Wheaton, MD. The monthly meetings are popular not only with the
members, but the attending public as well.  Knowledgeable and respected
lecturers are chosen from the gardening world to give presentations at
each meeting.

Club Benefits & How to Join

Annual
dues for single/couple/household members are $10 per year and are
payable by mail or at any club meeting. Members receive a discount on
many purchases at The Wild Bird Center in Wheaton, MD, and
Hoover-Fisher Florists, Four Corners, Silver Spring, MD. Workshops,
tours, and special programs are planned during the year and are
announced in The Grapevine, which is mailed to all current members. 
The club also communicates via their yahoo group located at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SilverSpringGardenClub/.

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On
the second Saturday of May the club’s annual “Garden Mart” is held at
Brookside Gardens. The Mart is eagerly awaited by the gardening
community. The sale of annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables,
plants from members’ gardens, and a raffle has helped fund their
contributions to worthy causes since 1940. It is also supported by area
garden merchants.

Kathy is a lifetime member of the Takoma
Horticultural Club and highly recommends you join as well. She is also
the current President of the Silver Spring Garden Club and highly
recommends you join as well. She is editor of Washington Gardener
magazine (www.WashingtonGardener.com) and a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast.  Kathy can be reached at  editor@washingtongardener.com and welcomes your gardening questions.

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About the Author

Kathy Jentz
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at @WDCgardener on Twitter and welcomes your local DMV gardening questions.

2 Comments on "Think Spring: Join the Silver Spring Garden Club"

  1. Barbara Yoffee | November 27, 2013 at 11:32 am |

    Hi,
    Are you able to suggest to those who might be interested in visiting a nearby home garden to make comments and suggestions to spruce up a large garden with many hostas and azealas?
    Probably in March. 2014
    Thanks.
    Barbara

  2. Hi Barbara – Sounds like what you are looking for is either a gardening coach or a landscape designer. Either one would charge about $75-100 for a consultation to come out and look at your home garden. We cannot recommend any individuals (press neutrality and all), but I suggest you ask among your friends and neighbors and on local gardening yahoo discussion lists like the Takoma Hort Club, DC Urban Gardeners, and Washington Gardener Magazine.

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