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September brings a new year for Yuma's garden clubs
Yuma's winter gardening season is just around the corner, and all our garden club members are excited to soon be out in the sunshine tending their gardens.
The four federated garden clubs of Yuma — MGM Garden Club, Pecan Grove Garden Club, Yuma Garden Club and Yuma Orchid Society — resume meetings in September. Their common goals are to beautify our town, participate in community service projects, encourage youths and adults to begin gardening and flower arranging, protect our natural resources and offer scholarships.
The clubs also honor our veterans and active military with the Blue Star Marker program and offer a variety of educational programs to increase the gardening knowledge of our club members and the Yuma community.
By working together on larger projects, or by themselves on smaller ones, the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma accomplish a variety of community service projects. Donating funds to Amberly's Place and Crossroads Mission, planting trees to beautify our city parks, collecting athletic shoes for recycling into playground surfaces and giving scholarships to students attending local colleges are just a few of the ways our club members help our community.
You don't have to be a gardener to join a club; all you need is an interest in learning about Yuma's plants and wildlife. Monthly meetings include a speaker discussing some aspect of gardening or wildlife in Yuma. Visitors are welcome; so, please visit us at our September meetings! You may join as many clubs as you wish.
MGM Garden Club maintains the Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden across from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension office, 2200 W. 28th St. MGM stands for Moody Garden Makers and their slogan, “Let's Meet in the Garden,” describes the club's main activity, which is keeping the Moody Garden beautiful. The Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden is an educational garden that contains a wide variety of plants that grow well in Yuma, and each is labeled with its common and Latin name.
There is a desert and tropical garden, a drought-resistant garden, a raised vegetable garden, a children's garden, a fragrance and edible plants garden, a medicinal qualities plants garden and an indigenous plants garden. Groups are welcome to schedule visits by calling 783-4741.
If you would like to attend MGM Garden Club, it meets each Tuesday morning at the Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden. As members garden, gardening questions are asked and discussed. Arrive when you wish and leave when you wish, the earlier the better during our hot weather.
Red worms to start a worm farm or a bag of vermicastings to amend your soil are available through MGM Garden Club by calling 920-8469. A book, “A Timeline History of the Moody Garden,” written by Ellen Gardner, is available for sale. Proceeds help fund the garden. Call 783-4741.
Engraved brick pavers are sold by MGM Garden Club to raise funds to improve the garden. Memorialize a person or event or honor someone who plays an important role in your life with an engraved paver. What a nice way to honor a wedding, child's birth or special anniversary. The pavers are added to walkways throughout the garden. Call 783-4741.
Pecan Grove Garden Club meets Sept. 18, 6 p.m., at the Main Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive. Its meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month. The September program is “Soil Amendments and Improvements for Yuma Gardens,” presented by garden club members Judy Miller and Fred Duncan. The club participates in numerous community service projects and sponsors a yearly high school essay contest and an elementary school poetry contest.
Girl Scout Troop 41 is also sponsored by the club. Supplies and design instruction for floral designs exhibited at the Yuma County Fair are given to the Girl Scouts each year.
The garden club created the West Wetlands Tree Walking Trail, which has 27 trees identified with the trees' names engraved on large stones. They also donated funds to purchase desert plants to xeriscape areas surrounding Yuma's eight public tennis courts. Each March, they sponsor a garden walking tour that showcases some of the great landscaping here in Yuma.
Yuma Garden Club meets Sept. 20, 1 p.m., at the Yuma Main Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive. Thereafter, the club meets the second Monday of each month. The September program features club member, Beverly Peterson, speaking on “Trees, Shrubs and Cacti.” Their newest fund raiser is a cookbook, “Desert Jewels,” which contains member's recipes and a schedule for planting vegetables in Yuma. The cookbook is for sale at the Yuma Historical Society, 248 Madison Ave., and at club meetings. Funds from the cookbook go toward community service projects and an AWC/UA scholarship.
The club participates in the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program and collects used athletic shoes donated to Hospice of Yuma Thrift Shop, 1824 S. 8th Ave. The shoes are taken to the Nike recycling center in San Diego. Basketball and tennis courts, running tracks and playground surfaces are made from the recycled shoes. The club plants trees in Yuma's parks and schools to honor club members and contributes floral arrangements to Yuma's ArtBeat and the Yuma County Fair flower show.
Yuma Orchid Society is dedicated to growing orchids and learning more about these lovely plants. The first meeting is Sept. 10, 1 p.m., at the Foothills Library. Besides learning about orchids, the club is involved in community service projects and helps support Yuma Safe House and Amberly's Place.
For more information about Yuma's garden clubs, go to fgcyuma.org and click on a garden club's name at the top of the page. Each garden club has men and women who enjoy learning about gardening and serving the Yuma community. There's always room for one more, and we look forward to seeing you at our September meetings.
Karen Bowen is a master gardener and member of Yuma Garden Club. This column is sponsored by the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma.