Since 1932, Farmington area gardeners have found a place to share their passion in the Farmington Garden Club.
Joann Jenkins, who presided over the group this year, said the club became part of the Federated Garden Clubs in 1934. Past club members included Edessa Slocum, the last family member to live in the historic Governor Warner Mansion in Farmington, and Ellie Spicer, whose family once owned the land that is now Heritage Park.
Jenkins said she has been a member since 1972, when gardeners were required to attend three meetings and also have a member sponsor them. Meetings were held during the day, at Longacre House in Farmington Hills.
"We always dressed up for our meetings, and the hostesses served our tea and coffee from the silver sets we just sold," she said. "We used china cups and saucers."
"For some of us, it's our excuse to put a hat on," member Jan Dolan said. She joined the club in 1966, shortly after moving to the Farmington area from Ohio. She met a club member and mentioned that she enjoyed gardening.
"I ended up as president the next year," Dolan recalled.
When more women began working during the day, the Hill and Dale Garden Club was formed, offering night meetings. And when their waiting list for membership started to grow, the North Farmington Garden Club was launched, Dolan said.
Over the years, membership has dropped from around 100 to 40, but new members still find the club.
Sushma Tuteja of Novi said she came to the club after reading a published notice about a presentation on a special plant.
"I liked the atmosphere," she said. "The ladies didn't make me feel that I was an outsider."
Beverly Schroll of Farmington Hills said she learned about the club through the Farmington Art Foundation.
"I've enjoyed it, there are a lot of different things going on," she said. Schroll particularly enjoyed the group's Holiday Tables event. That's just one of several activities the club sponsors during the year, including their upcoming Garden Walk on Aug. 11 and their Good Neighbor Garden Club, which is currently underway.
Admission to the Garden Walk is a $10 donation (children under 12 admitted free) on the day of the walk at the Governor Warner Mansion, 33805 Grand River, or before the walk at Steinkopf Nursery, 20815 Farmington Road.
Through the 26th annual Good Neighbor Garden contest, local residents can recognize a neighbor who keeps a beautiful, creative garden. You can find a 2012 nomination form on the club's website, farmingtongardenclub.com, or at Steinkopf Nursery. You may also send gardeners name, telephone number and location of garden to: FGC, 34621 Beechwood, Farmington Hills, Ml, 48335.
Deadline to enter is July 1. For more information, call 248-474-0855