If you think of gardening as a chore, think again. Digging in the dirt can be a rewarding part of your life, especially if you do it with friends and neighbors. Have you ever considered joining your local garden club? The ladies of 19th century Athens, Georgia certainly did. In fact, in 1891, they founded the first garden club in the country. These days, however, garden clubs are more than just flower shows and lemonade – although that can be a fun part of it, too (read more about Southern flower shows here). For all sorts of benefits to garden club membership, keep reading; we think the idea may just grow on you!
1: It’s a great way to get outside and improve your health
Everyone knows that more exercise is a good thing – even if it’s just moving that pot of tomatoes from here to there. But did you know that suggests that gardening is a powerful stress reducer? By some accounts, it’s even more effective at reducing anxiety and improving one’s mood than other activities associated with relaxing, like reading or playing word games. In short, if you’re feeling blue, go green.
2: You can meet new friends
Doing something you enjoy is always more fun when you have a friend along. As a member of your local garden club, you’ll meet new people who love planting bulbs as much as you do. Feeling shy about being new? Grab a current friend and join together.
3: You’ll help promote environmental conservation and stewardship
Local garden club projects often incorporate practices designed to conserve and protect natural resources. Every little bit helps.
4: Support community beautification
Ever wanted to clean up those barren roadsides and abandoned lots? Put those landscaping and planting skills to work in a garden club and improve the look of your community. Just think of the positive impact it will have on property values.
5: Learn new things and share what you know
Do you know the difference between a garden spade and mower blade? Even if the answer is no, a garden club will teach you everything you need to know about gardening tools and best practices. Being a member means you can learn from your gardening colleagues. If you are already the greenest of thumbs, you’ll have a chance to share your bumper crop of knowledge with others.
6: Learn to garden with less green
There aren’t many activities you can do these days for under $50, but garden club membership is definitely one. Membership is typically inexpensive, with annual dues ranging from $10-50. In fact, membership is frequently free, though donations (typically modest, in the same range as dues) are often encouraged.
For more information on garden clubs, visit National Garden Clubs online. For regional and state-level affiliate clubs, check out the links below.
Deep South Region (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN)
South Central Region (AR)
South Atlantic Region (KY, NC, SC, V, WV )