Garden Clubs are Failing

Garden Clubs are Failing

All right doing a sound check out there can anybody hear me Almost ready to go here and I see we got a comment already from Portia good to interact with you on a somewhat more live manner. She’s a frequent commenter to the channel and yeah, Portia Your Garden Club being a bit cliquish. That’s exactly what I want to talk about today. That’s a problem that that some of them are going to have bring in new members and it looks like it’s already everybody knows each other and You’re the odd man out and that can be a real problem. I’m going to go live here with my video as well Okay, I’m hoping everybody can hear me out there Could somebody just quickly confirm that you’re getting my audio to please And I want a bit of a delay here so if it sounds like I’m pausing that’s not to To add dramatic effect at all here. Okay. I’m gonna go on now so Thanks for tuning in today Appreciate it. This kind of format is new for me. I did one last week. This is my second live stream and I think the reason I’ve chosen to do this is that most of my topics I try to be really really Concise if I can I want to get right to the point But there are some topics Like this one here that bear a little more of a lengthy discussion and perhaps some input from other people Who have some views on the same topic? So I’ll be checking back to the live stream dashboard occasionally throughout this topic To see if anybody else has anything to add But first I guess I should Go ahead and introduce myself. So, my name is Jason I’m a professional grower of perennials at a wholesale nursery that ships through Western Canada in the United States I also have a little farm at home. It’s a three acre farm on beautiful. Nicomen Island We grow roses probably closing in on 200 varieties now I don’t propagate them all that I do propagate an awful lot of them and The as part of my outreach for what I do with my Rose farm here is I speak pretty frequently to garden clubs locally Last year was probably eight or nine different garden clubs most of them quite local although there are a few as far away as Keremeos and Bowen island or I think it had Squamish last year as well so all within about a two to three hour radius of where I live so far and I’ve gotten to see quite a few garden clubs. In fact, I was a Garden Club member before I even got into the industry So I have some experience being in the Garden Club scene and that’s why I bring this topic to you is because I care I actually think garden clubs are extremely important to not just I’m going to say the hobby but also critical in general where the it’s the voice of the gardener whereas the Horticultural tends to be dominated by the industry dominated in fact by a few large retailers who are going to put out what they’re what they deem the consumer wants and Unless the gardeners speak up. I’m gonna make the analogy of the local food movement I’m gonna say that for a long time. It looks like you know the grocery stores and the big food Multinationals could just put whatever on the shelves they wanted to and we would just buy it based on consumer behavior but then the organic food movement came in and the local food movement and they changed things they actually Convinced these big companies that there was a value and listening to the consumer. That’s what garden clubs and the garden movement is To the horticulture industry. So I said something in the intro of this topic when I was Preparing it I said that garden clubs aren’t failing because they can’t find members. I Said they can’t find new members because they’re failing and there’s a distinction there I think that people don’t want to sign up for a club because the Garden Club is failing to do something that They walk the Garden Club to do and I should say this that not all garden clubs are failing I’ve been to garden clubs that are very vibrant and growing and even at this time in history But I do have to clarify that I do think there’s a problem I’m going to go through a couple of online articles here and Give me a second to bring them up I’m just gonna read through them and briefly peruse them because you can obviously visit these sites yourself and see what these Authors had to say about it the first one I’m going to talk about here is From a blogger sorry. No, this is from the Oregon association of nurseries and They did a little rundown on garden clubs, but I wanted to Skip right down to this section here Which says adapting to the times there remains a broad concern over decline and garden club membership and participation? Whether due to aging leadership the move to online forums or other factors in early 2018 when the largest garden clubs in Oregon the Metropolitan Garden Club of Portland disbanded leaders cited declining interest Okay, so that’s a problem and of course this article is done somewhat by the industry, so That’s their concern is they’re losing a partner. They’re losing the garden clubs. They see them as Almost like I think they say in the article like an informal focus group But you know ready for you to use so they’re losing a partner. Let’s look at this one Here is a blogger. I believe it says here Susan Harris and she talks about the decline of species specific Shows she’s talking about a single plant or species specific societies things like your local dahlia society or Hemerocallis society rose society which I can confirm there’s been a couple of local rural societies that have Either declined very much or disbanded So that’s her point here is that these single species societies were voices for the Advancement of the rose with daylily or the Alpine plants and now they’re disappearing and this can be a massive problem And I guess I would agree with her general point that I think the species specific Plant societies may have been hit the hardest by the decline in garden clubs. I’ve one more article to show you here and This one is oh Boy, what a racy picture to start with This is from the Dallas Morning News from a few years back would be probably five years back and they’re talking again about the decline and the history of garden clubs in America and how the demographics have changed and I would let you read the whole thing, but The point they make in the end here is a couple directions going forward turn around they say here about one society that just you know actually had a “force of nature” personality come in and take over and bring back on enrollment and As far as strategies to improve your Garden Club That’s a great one. I’ve met some of these people who are this like force of nature just like very You know attract all the attention in the room and really get things to happen But as far as a strategy knows it’s not one that you can count on very much It’s not it’s not one that I would suggests that most garden clubs are able to adopt the next one here, they talk about another garden club they say has really Banded together with other garden clubs to do action in their community to make themselves more relevant And that’s something I think that any garden club can do So I’m gonna go back here now And Go through some topics that I prepared on this and I guess the first thing I’d say going back to that statement garden clubs aren’t failing because they can’t find new members they can’t find new members because they’re failing and I wanted to illustrate this by making an example sort of a make-believe example, so imagine along with me here that you are a brand new gardener and frankly, this is something I’m interested to know is if you don’t mind pop into the chat box beside the window here and if you Don’t mind telling me do you call yourself a beginner gardener? Do you call yourself an intermediate Gerber? Do you call yourself an advanced? gardener, I’d like to know that I sort of have an idea of who my viewers are I think But maybe you can surprise me a little bit So back to my example imagine you’re a brand-new gardener Who has found the hobby and this could happen at any age Typically, we think it happens a little bit later like 50s and 60s, but it could happen to a thirty year old I suppose So imagine you’re that brand new gardener. You’ve found a YouTube channel you like reef? Found a book or you’ve gone to the garden center It had some success planting some things and you want to take that next step into the hobby So you think well, I’ve heard of garden clubs Maybe I’d like to to engage with one of those so you go looking for your local garden club and probably you google it you say what what are the local garden clubs around mission or abbotsford or wherever you’re from and you find that there is a listing on a static website Somewhere way buried back on the internet looks like it has been changed since like 1986 Because it’s a you can sometimes tell these things when you look at a website and basically all it tells you is yes We’re a garden club. We meet on the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. At the Rotary Hall Then you go Okay, how do I interact with you in the meantime? Yeah, so you go on the on the Facebook and you see if they have a page and most clubs at one point or another Have taken that kind of a half-assed effort to throw up a Facebook page. Some of them are really good, but in general, let’s just say for this example that what you find is a basically Inactive Facebook page fan page in this garden club no discussion on there. So you go. Wow Okay, maybe I’ll show up At this defined meeting now Let me clarify here that if you’re that person that makes you an oddball Or unusual, I think most people this has been the experience of garden clubs Most learned clubs don’t find new members. Just walking in off the street based on that listing. It just doesn’t happen that much so if you’re that new gardener and you’ve decided to attend and You show up to that meeting Congratulations, you’re more persistent than most because I think that most garden clubs. Do kind of a terrible job of outreaching to the community, but that said let’s say you arrived at this garden club and it’s It’s at the rotary hall it’s kind of a rundown place whatever you walk in Here’s some clanking behind-the-scenes. Sounds like somebody’s making some coffee or cutting up some carrot cake or something like that There’s a book laid out on the table up front. That’s a sign-in book You don’t know what to do. You didn’t know where you were whether you should bring a fee either like it said admission fee or Annual membership fee $15. They had that in your back pocket. You didn’t know whether you should bring it or not You sign into the book and you take a seat. The seats are already out. So that’s great. Nobody else really around that much and then they start to filter in and They all seem to know each other which is kind of what you feared it can be a little bit intimidating going to a new group of people and trying to You know just show up and you know Nobody really glances your way or talk to you that much and you’re kind of feeling like, okay well I’ll wait till the meeting starts, and I’m not you know, I’ve no great need to be the center of attention so you sit you wait there and Eventually, they can be in the meeting. So Somebody takes the mic and this is the president of the club and She may or may not have a gavel. Okay. So at this point she calls the meeting to order and she says first let’s talk about the meeting agenda and starts to go through this agenda of things you have to do and Then she says okay. Can I have an approval of the agenda? You’re like “Approve the agenda?” and people start raising their hands and voting. Okay, I guess they vote on what they want to talk about, right? Then she hands over the microphone to the Treasurer and the treasurer starts going through the financials and the financial report of the organization Starts going through how much money they made at the local plant sale how much money they made from concessions? So on and so forth. Here’s an update on looks. Okay, here’s where we’re at. We’re in good shape Fantastic. Okay. Can we have a vote to Approve the treasurer’s report and they start voting again. Okay, so Ten minutes in gets handed over to the secretary the secretary starts reading over Something called the minutes from the last meeting and basically repeating everything that would have been said in the last meeting But now you’re voting on it Okay. Fantastic and then they proceed into business the business of the club and the business of the club Consists of a lot of stuff like who’s volunteering for what I’m setting up for the plant sale. Who’s Running what committee who’s doing all this stuff and they spend you know, 15 or 20 minutes Just going over their business. And in the meantime, you’re sitting there rather confused Because you thought this was a plant club or a Garden Club Finally the president takes the thing again the mic again and says ok time for a break Ok, so now you’re taking a 15-minute break with these people. You don’t know you do shake a few hands you say hello and you sit down and finally the part of the club that you’re interested in a speaker comes on and You find the speaker. Well, hang on Let’s not just pretend you’re the you’re the attendee now, let’s pretend you’re me and I’m the speaker So now I’m the speaker at this meeting. I have I have two thoughts immediately actually two thoughts one worst warm-up ever Wow, you know, I’m gonna have to pull it the paddles to resuscitate this crowd and second is That if I were a new member, I would run for the hills in that first coffee break But assuming this new person sticks around for the for the talk portion of the of the meeting And now you’re very impressed by the speaker. The Garden Club speaker is exciting interesting engaging And you’re like wow, this is this is awesome. So they finish up There’s a few questions and you’re like raring to go. Your excitement is up and you’re like, okay great Now now we’re gonna have some lively discussion No, it’s time for the raffle. So now they’re doing the raffle table. They do a little bit show-and-tell and You know given that the general age of the club is a little on the higher side It they want to get to bed on time. It’s you know, nine o’clock now so meeting adjourned and You go home You know having had somewhat a good experience, but also going What happens now? I don’t see these people until next month if at all So, you know that outreach end is very poor and then the cultivating Part of the community getting that person to feel like they’re a part of your community getting to feel like they’re included they’re accepted Is also very poor So I want to go back now and just talk about some of the things that I think are essential functions of Garden Club because I think in that example the Garden Club has actually failed to do so to some degree and I’m just putting up a graphic here. Now that talks about what I view as the essential roles of a Garden Club so that first one was outreach how you reach new members is part of your job to find new gardeners and Include them in your club and to make them feel welcome and if you’re “clicky” like Portia said or if you Don’t do a good job of welcoming those new members. That could be really rough. I Once attended just a brief aside a beekeeping Club in Langley and it was a very very busy room Not a big room and eventually the chair is all filled up and then they were standing room only so there was a speaker and I was thinking oh my you know, this club is doing something right and One of those said “forces a personality” took the microphone, but she didn’t go on to club business The first thing she did is it I see some new faces around the room here. Who are you and Went one by one through the new people who are there and talked to them Like real people talk to them to connect them to her community and I thought that’s how they’re doing it They’re making people feel like they could connect and belong to the club so that outreach is part of something you need to do and I’m gonna say a little more about outreach here Is that the reason why those three line ads in the back of a newspaper or the the static website ever? Worked ever got people to attend a Garden Club If to the degree that they ever did is only because there was a lack of better alternatives so honestly Now there’s things like Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and other social media connections But one of these is ahead when it comes to local engagement, and that’s Facebook. So Facebook discussion groups on gardening have gotten very very popular, and I don’t think that Most garden clubs have taken advantage of this very well Some have and I want to give you an example here of a local garden club called the valley Permaculture guild which I think is a clever name actually To call it a guild instead of a club because you know permaculture is all about the guild for those of you don’t know Permaculture it’s a system of agricultural gardening that focuses on Trees shrubs perennials and permanent plantings more so than just annual monoculture crops and it usually encourages the inter planting of a bunch of these species and you can put in vines and root crops and but the Theory is that permaculture makes these things grow better together or make them more sustainable garden together I think it’s a fantastic thing So for a while I was interested in joining the local club, but time wise I was having a little trouble making that happen So I checked out their website and I saw they had a Facebook page so I said well at least I’ll go and try to connect with them and I joined their Facebook page thinking well, you know at the time this is a few years back I didn’t know that they would even accept outside people or people who were not members of their club, but they did and It looked like they were pretty routine about letting people from the local community join their Facebook engagement Rather than just focusing on the club today update I think they have about fourteen hundred members on their Facebook discussion group and Granted some of this is pretty surface level stuff that they discuss. So, you know, here’s that here’s a gardening meme. Here’s a joke Here’s you know, but some of it is real information about permaculture and that’s the way you engage your community right up front another group that I know of locally here. I had a guy on my channel a while back He did a lighting video with me and he runs a gardening club group Facebook group here Regionally, and I don’t think he’d want me to mention the name because it doesn’t want members from all around the world Just popping in and making membership requests because that could be a little bit awkward for running a local club I think it has something like 8,000 local members now if you’re a gardening club and you’re thinking how Would would having eight thousand members in a discussion group that I have access to in my club Affect the way that I run the business of my club it would be amazing you’d have that much access to all those people you’re onboarding and outreach and People go over those groups and they engage right away sort on. Oh, thanks for joining letting me to the group You know, I have this problem with this shrub in my front yard, and it’s this Between meetings right? So I think you could I’ve heard people say oh man, you know We’re a garden club and these online groups. They’re stealing our thunder and I think you’ve got it all wrong buddy. They’re not stealing your thunder. They are your thunder! because The people joining up together in a garden club. That’s the spark. That’s the exciting thing. That’s the Lightning right? the reverberation throughout the community that that loud sound they can make that that That lasts quite a bit longer between those meetings That’s the discussion groups on Facebook and I wanted to say once again if you’re not a Facebook fan Well, I’m sorry, you know, it’s a no I’m spending some time talking about it here It just happens to be the local format that has caught on right there. They’re just they’re good at it They’ve made these discussion groups and lots of people have joined. It could be a different one ten years in the future I’m not concerned with that I’m just saying right now today if you have a garden club and you don’t have your own active discussion group You better get on that and maybe a shortcut for you would be to look at what? Local gardening discussion groups there are and don’t try to build it from the ground up But just join in with that one and start sneaking in your garden club business there you know when you have your meetings and so on most of the Local garden clubs sort of discussion groups on Facebook are very receptive to that sort of thing I mean it gives them you have something they don’t have they have something you don’t have they have a whole bunch of members who are casually interacting with each other between meetings, but they don’t have physical meetings and don’t have the capacity to do so, so that’s The the thinking you have to go here is it’s a partnership that could work for both parties So I want to just really quickly before I continue on here just go back to the livestream panel and see if there’s any Discussions so far. Oh boy. There is much. It makes me very happy I mean it would be really lazy of me to do A live stream or useless do a live stream like this and then not have your discussion be a part of it so give me a second here to just Browse through and see what people have to say Yeah, okay so David McCutcheon I’ve made at this point before is that The Rove society seemed to be dominated by the exhibitors and yeah, I you know I couldn’t agree with you more You know the outreach portion the Vancouver Rose Society did a good job and they had their role show on a couple of years back and I think they’re Doing one again this year, but they invited me there as a speaker and they made a point of using the exhibits to then pull people in and have talks and discussions and try to introduce them to the To the hobby right which I thought was actually quite clever So I don’t think they you know ones exclusive of the other but I think that some clubs can get the balance wrong Yeah for Apple takers they’re Having a club where you are 48 and 55 and you’re the youngest That’s not unusual I certainly the more I in my local area the more I go to an area where there’s You know suburban and land available for gardening There’s more young people involved and the more urban I go into Vancouver where the property prices are outrageous usually the average age of the person in that group goes way way up and I Spoken to at least one club where I read the room has probably an average age of seventy seventy five years old and the only young person that I was excited that’s not a young person there turned out she was a care aide for one of The attendees so it dashed my hopes But no it’s a hundred percent true And but the point of my video here is that some groups are doing this really really well and are attracting young people or younger people and given that The average age of people getting into gardening that’s a little bit later, but some clubs are doing that So if this were just a demographic thing young people aren’t interested Then I can accept that but some clubs are doing well and some clubs are doing poorly attracting younger members and so there’s definitely things you can do and I think if you follow what I’ve put up on the screen here that way as The essential rules of guarding them. If you do them. Well, you can probably do a better job for tracting younger members Certainly, they won’t live with the same old same old Yeah, so the salon girl Gardens same deal, you know a little Depressing and you make the point of them not embracing new technology. Yeah, absolutely I mean that that Facebook thing is just you know, you’ve got to do it People aren’t going to accept the old way where you go in for a club. It’s run in a very, you know Formal fashion and then you walk away and there’s no connection with them for another month. That’s a recipe for disengagement and apathy. having them be open-minded and talk about things that are topical I’ll go into that in just a second here Wow some great comments in here Okay now Karen is it do Purdue pay I just wanted to mention the choice of time of meeting could actually be a thing, you know, so if you That’s part of your outreach and that’s part of making your club attractive to people if you’re gonna meeting at 1:00 in the afternoon on a weekday like you know, you busy you’re basically got retire people and you know in some areas I Attended Bowen Island, and it was a weekday meeting and it was very busy, but that’s Bowen Island So they’re kind of an an odd bunch there. I don’t mean that in a bad way it’s actually a very positive thing but it’s it’s a little more affluent and There are some younger retired people in that community. So but yeah you bet So I’m gonna go back now to my topic and move on because I’ve been talking about outreach for a while now and I want to talk about the second part which is teach and I think most Garden clubs Get it when it comes to teaching they usually will bring in a Garden Club speaker Firstly some of the larger clubs some smaller clothes may not be able to get that every time But usually bring in a Garden Club speaker will talk about something exciting or interesting at least did they choose the speaker? Well, but and they also sometimes run little Question-and-answer periods amongst their own members. It doesn’t have to be a speaker can be their own members who you know? I remember the Chilliwack Garden Club had you know asked Jack which was fantastic God rest his soul, but it was You know so they they can manage this but my problem is and this is this is I guess maybe the rant iasts for ssin of my Of my talk here. Is that if you’ve been Overly administrative and the way that you construct your society you Rob away the opportunity to teach so in the in the For instance that I gave at the beginning where they’re pulling out a gavel and there You know recognizing the president and recognizing the vice president and treasurer and secretary You know, that’s first of all a giant time waster like you’re gonna use that time to do club business rather than Teach people and engage people in your topics. That’s like wow, what a wasted opportunity But second one sort of turn people off like they’re not going to want to be part of a club. It’s not administrative So, you know It does take away from it and I didn’t want to say a couple of words about that Format and why it exists in garden clubs, and it doesn’t exist everywhere So I’ve seen phenomenal garden clubs that run in a very very casual way Still meet all of our provincial requirements for being a nonprofit Society, but they just take their club business Amongst the executive. That’s what you call the president vice president treasurer secretary and they put it into a separate meeting And they have you know, the executive meeting and which you know, they do over the phone on a Saturday or whatever and they meet their requirements of their own bylaws and then the public-facing meetings the ones where You know new members might attend or where you have the speaker. They don’t talk with that business In fact, some clubs are so good at the social media thing that they do their Club business on Facebook They do, you know who’s going to volunteer for this who’s bringing the cookies who’s doing coffee? Where are we gonna meet all that toughest type stuff happens in business, so it isn’t an absolute necessity That you run your club like a Business organization or you know the Robert’s Rules of Order or not mandatory here that said There is some advantage in some jurisdictions You don’t have to check this yourself about having If you’re gonna hold money as an organization If you want to be a non-profit if you want to have tax-free status if you want to be able to apply for grants or subsidies from your local government or from your state You know lottery funds or whatever. Then you’re gonna have to meet some of these some of these requirements and in my local area the requirement is that you have to have the Executive has to exist that to follow the bylaws and they have to file one AGM report every year that’s it. They don’t have to do anything else There’s even a less involved kind of structure that you can use called member funded societies here in BC that the the the requirements are negligible as long as you’re not accepting money from outside sources, so, you know your Administrative burden may vary from state to state province to province If you want to accept some of that outside money but please please please do everything you can to take that business portion of it and Separate it out from the public facing portion of your meetings I think it can be done in most places unless your bylaws were written kind of funky And I will say one other thing is that when I talk about casual garden clubs I mean a Garden Club can be as easy as a few interested people rotating through each other’s houses and meeting each other’s gardens and walking around and and They don’t have to have a formalized speaker. They can just people talking to each other which is you know Perfectly fine and fantastic actually some of the one of the best garden clubs I’ve ever attended was exactly that format. So You know I guess what I’d say is most garden clubs do get it that their role is to Inform and their role is to educate and most of them will, you know do that to a certain extent But some of that administrative burden can get in the way of that Just going to go back to the comments here for just a second Yeah, okay le Bosh I’m gonna talk to you for a second here because you say what’s the point of garden clubs what do they hope to achieve and I’m moving on to that right now because I say You know outreach is one function teach is another function But it’s the function of advocating an action that really make garden clubs Relevant, and I’m gonna go back and do another article here for just a second. You guys are going to think I’m weird Because I’m reading you an article that is Hang on I’m reading an article that’s about church and I won’t read the whole thing I think he makes some great points, but they could apply if you if you have a little imagination you can apply all of this directly to the garden club scene and He’s a good convincing author So I’m not trying to indoctrinate you to any particular religious belief here. I just think that it’s relevant So he says dear church. The Exodus has begun that’s not going to stop people are leaving you and they’re probably not coming back I Know you’re panicking scrambling to understand it all trying to somehow stop the bleeding reverse the Swift and steady tide under the doors you hire Consultants and hold emergency meetings and plan bold Strategies and brainstorm solutions all designed to engineer a way to bring the prodigal ‘s home to reach the young people that applies to us To grow numerically again. I know you imagine that if you just tweak the songs or Shorten the service or get a new sign or rebrand your mobile or set up shop in a strip mall That if you find just the right aesthetic balance of vintage reverence and hipster ship chic This will all magically change your fortunes and it won’t So he goes on to say and I want I don’t want to read the whole thing here there’s some things in this I agree with and some things I don’t agree with necessarily but He says They don’t give a damn about such things, but these little petty changes the church People are leaving you because you’re silent now in ways that matter to them You aren’t saying what they need you to say and what you should be saying and it make some sick And in this case, he’s talking about the moral center of being a church talking about human atrocities and cruelty and hypocrisy and that you should have the courage to say those things I’m gonna skip down a little bit here say I know You’re worried about saying too much about being branded too political about offending people or somehow making it worse by speaking Trust me. You’re making it worse by saying nothing now he goes on to talk a little bit about his His values and what he talks about in his sermons and this is the part where I think he loses the plot a little bit He talks about you know that you need to You know in his case stand against conservatism in America and so on Because he’s a little bit on that progressive Identity politics side himself or at least that’s the way I read him and not that I agree with all of his politics But he’s right on this is to say if you want to be relevant again Say everything stand on your platforms of your pulpit and specifically name the politics unequivocally condemn people and policies and things that are that you’re against stop coaching your words and softening your delivery and Start speaking with clarity about what matters to you That’s what those were leaving want the most and it may be too late to stop the exodus at this point but seeing everything will at least Help you to keep your soul as you fade away. At least you’ll know you stood for something so great article and like I say, I don’t agree with every point in it because You know, I don’t think it’s about specifically what you’re saying it’s about that don’t be afraid to say it and I’m just going to go back to my notes here and there are things in the gardening community that matter to us things that are issues that matter the people in gardening and I’m gonna go through a quick list here and you tell me are some of these things controversial Pesticide use Our herbicide use and things like that so environmental concerns Parks and public spaces, you know, she should, you know again not something that gardeners care about it You can talk to your local council about you know, how they’re actually doing what they do invasive species Zoning and local regulation. I know not everybody here is a chicken person, but you know a lot of Local a a lot of local councils have problems with they don’t have a policy on having people be able have chickens They also don’t have policy some places have policies where you can’t grow your front lawn a certain way It has to be just mowed grass. That’s it. You can’t have it too high or have wildflowers or anything else and those are gardening topics food security is another one that people in our community care about and one of my pet issues is the transformation of plants into Disposable consumer items so I know this trend is been coming a long time but the fact that you grow when Cestius just and spray some glitter on them and put them in a store you sell them and they live for a little while and then They’re meant to be thrown in the trash a lot of the new where succulent planters sort of fall in the same category ish but to me, you know the gardening industry moving more aggressively into the space of disposable items is a Travesty, well who’s going to say that you’re the voice of gardeners against global horticulture? And I’m not saying against like, you know, we hate them. I mean, I’m certainly work for a Gardening organization or a horticultural organization but The point being that garden clubs have to have a voice on these things and like John Pablo bits was saying in that article Are you afraid that if you say something? Too contentious that the whole meeting is going to erupt into a series of people shouting each other over these things Are you worried that the old people will be turned off by? Talking about environmental concerns. What are you worried about? Because ideally We can talk to each other about these things and even if we don’t agree with each other but if you can foster that in your Garden Club where you can talk These important issues to gardeners. I Guarantee you just by definition. You must get you must get more engagement by your by your attendees That would definitely happen And I know again that some Of those Facebook garden clubs do moderate They do sort of slow down and stop when somebody goes too far off on you know I hate everybody who uses their I I hate Monsanto or Bayer CropScience, right, you know and That can be disruptive. But that’s the The art and craft of being a moderator is that you can rein that back in still let people feel like they’re heard but then say okay and once we hit this point then we move on and Sometimes maybe we even hear a counterpoint and that’s okay, too So don’t be afraid to stand for something. Don’t be afraid to talk about something Get that back into your clubs. Don’t just be the dry, you know We’re here to do our business and then be here to speak or let me go home That’s all do which can be, you know, quite annoying to a guy like me Sorry, I’m gonna see if I can put back up that That rules of the Garden Club graphic here, so I’ve already been through outreach I’ve already been through a teach. I’ve already been through advocate and finally, I want to talk about action and By action I say this it’s all fine and good to teach and advocate But you can do all of that online Really most of these conversations can be hired online. The one thing that you can do as a garden club that meets in person is actually Do stuff you can exchange seeds you can take cuttings you can have gleaning events And so when the harvest is out and people have apples in their yard or an apple tree They are that they don’t care to harvest your club can glean those and use those for other things you can get involved in community garden so you can involved there’s a There’s a horticultural that we use a lot here in called CD Saturday, which is basically a large seed exchange and more or less a fundraiser for seeds of diversity which is an organization that does some good stuff and You know a lot of garden clubs partner up with them in those seedy Saturday events, but also any other local Community plant sales. We have a big one in Chilliwack called the Lynn Vaughn plant sale when Vaughn park plant sale where a lot of the dirt and clubs show up Communities in bloom again. I might just be another Canadian thing the communities in bloom is like an organization where they Encourage these nonprofits to come together and try to pretty up your community and make it look really nice No They have a little competition and it’s judged and they figure out which is the nicest Community which I’m not so big on the status and judged thing, but it’s if it’s a way to get people interested But doing a flower show or an exhibition. Well, that’s that’s action – I’m with you in that I don’t think that should be the only focus of your garden club But it is action and it can bring people to that next level of understanding plants if they have to look at well, what what stage is the but in when you cut this and you know How do you preserve it for cutting and that kind of thing? It’s it’s another part of the hobby, right? I don’t say anything shouldn’t be a part of the hobby I just say, you know, you you’ve got to focus on the things that are action, right? workshops and I was thinking that you know The garden centers put on these workshops and whenever they do like a hanging basket workshop, or they do something like that The place is full of garden clubs can do exactly that you can work together to get the plugs and You know put on a workshop where everybody works together to build a hanging basket and that would be you know That would attract a lot of people a lot of people who are new to the Hobby and just need something to walk them through It as they do their own hanging baskets Open Gardens where people do tours of their gardens that’s that’s community action as well and you know lobbying and bringing your concerns forward to government and again, I don’t expect that everybody in every garden club has been agree on every issue. But once you do have philosophical understanding of each other and if something matters to you, then translating that to action means going to your local City Council and demanding or asking that they change the policies of what you can grow in your front yard, or how they allocate or plant a local community gardening space, so That’s part of your role as as taking action in the community so I have just That’s pretty much it for the Scripted or at least outlined portion of my conversation. I have one other thing to say, which is that I think that these online garden clubs are conformed the nice foundation for for like on the Facebook version comes in form a nice foundation for what you do and you know, once you build that community even do something with it, so I have actually a while back that created a worldwide Unruly Rose Society on Facebook. So if anybody’s interested in doing that, there will be no carrot cake. There will be no Coffee service. There are no rules I’m not going to take minutes. I’m not going to have a gavel You know anybody can join and you can say whatever you want it’s a bit of an anarchist Society and because we’re talking about roses that don’t behave and and and and if you want to Just as your your token of membership come on in and post a picture of any Rose and you’re in Fargo That isn’t behaving. Well that is kind of unruly or or act badly Amongst his neighbors and and now that’s not mandatory Okay, there are no rules so you can join even without that. So I want to go back now just really quickly because Everybody’s been listening so nicely and I appreciate it. I want to go back now and just go quickly through The comments that people have left here and then After that, I’m gonna say goodbye But I really really hope that if you’ve watched this or even if you haven’t watched this that you’re catching it later online That you can use the comment section below the video and the chats section only stays open during the video but after that the comments down below and if you’ve gotten any value from what I’ve said here because this is supposed to be a conversation Then take the link after it’s posted after I put the the subtitles on after it’s already and take that and just Forward it to your local garden club, right and they may like me for it. They may dislike me for it. But if they Either way, they can come back on to YouTube and they can make comments down below the video But what they do to succeed or what they think I’m wrong about that’s totally fine. So I’m just going to go back up here a little ways and California backyard orchard says it’s difficult to hold or attend club meetings due to traffic and distance and most good clubs are Sorry, that online clubs are the norm out here. Yeah, I I think that’s sort of the way it’s going I think there’s room for both things that you have online clubs for times when it’s impractical to meet and for the ongoing interaction and that even if you have a mostly online club That there’s room in there for a meet-up. There’s room in there for at certain points once you’ve got enough members that you can get together and have a little luncheon or Whatever and not all of this has to be like a like I say, let’s follow the structure of a big nonprofit organization That’s just an informal thing. That’s an informal awesome meeting each other about gardening topics. And that’s the that’s the core of a garden club Just going on here and Winter Lily ten you’ll be looking into your local garden clubs this spring and and Good luck. I hope you find one that suits you well, and if you do, you know I hope you stick around to make the changes and modernize them and help them along the way Mary says the bonsai Club votes in the new year on topics at the last meeting of the year to the topic speakers disease issues Winter prep pots Rock sharpening tools and dues collection for the year And you know, I think there is a place for Club business and most clubs will hold an annual general meeting This one sounds sort of of that sort where you just once a year sort of take care of all the business of electing officers Again, getting everything on the record so that you can accept those public funds that you can manage your Books and be accountable to the members, but then hopefully what you do after that is you say, okay? We got that out of our system and our next meeting. We’re just going to focus on having fun interacting with each other Providing information running a seminar having a speaker, you know the parts that really provide high value to members Portia yes Unfashionable waste a lot of current there’s time. Yeah, I agree with you to tell from what I’m saying here I’d rather see a group of people who are a little bit disorderly, but but at least are saying what they mean about gardening and Engaging each other in the topics that matter be nice, you know get along with everybody but yeah, that’s the that’s the point of it and All right, I’ve got enough here now I’m going to thank you so much for watching today. I know this is run I’m just looking here Oh probably in the range of 45 or 50 minutes So, I don’t know it’s a little longer than I would normally do but for a topic like this I don’t mind that it’s a little more of an informal Format, and I really do appreciate all of you who stuck around and made some comments and added to the conversation So thanks so much All right, that should yet

16 thoughts on “Garden Clubs are Failing

  1. We just started a garden club in my Town we started a FB group too. I find I am pretty much the only one who post an share my garden projects. This video was very helpful with the best way to conduct the club. How can I get more of the members engaged. They like my post but don't seem to have anything to add to our group. Maybe once we have our 1st meeting we will feel less intimidating in engaging or asking questions. Thanks for this great information. I will definitely implement a lot of this in our group.

  2. Gday Jason, You have given me some ideas about my local society and ways we can improve our meetings, Thankyou. You may even have convinced me to investigate fb. Merry Christmas LC& S Greg

  3. I am one of those 75 year old gardener. I live in a very rural area. For 7 years I have looked for a club or someone with the same interest as myself. I have decided this impossible unless it is done online and maybe meet once a year. My interest is in propagating plants. The only club that I have found looks good on line however they charge 2 arms and a leg just to join. This is impossible for me. Maybe you can help me with this

  4. My preference is for online clubs – larger audience and more diversity. No wintertime driving or concern about weather causing club meeting cancellations. Online has the advantage of opting in or out based on how busy I am whereas clubs need dues paying members.

  5. I am trying to reply to Pat Gentry but can not figure this thing out but I like to propagate all types of ornamentals I live in zone 7b. Thanks.

  6. Finally got to see your whole presentation today…you made a valiant effort! We, as a society, are losing the ability to conduct discourse in a pleasant way. The old pub exchange over a beer is rare now. Most of us gather with those who share our opinions, and can fan the flames around any point of view. Facebook also gathers the likeminded, rather than making a forum for real exchange. It’s one reason we are so polarized these days. One structure that our beekeepers club has created (because we grew tooo large!), is to have smaller, more local groups who can get together for hive dives, and help with swarms, etc. That could be an extension of any online gardening club, too. Well, thank you, and now I’m off to join the UnrulyRose group!

  7. Good video! Part of the problem is when you have members who want to get something from the club, but don't want to contribute. Too many takers not enough givers can exhaust the few doers.

  8. I got some cuttings locally and the lady invited me to join the local garden club Facebook page. I have been very disappointed with them as they don't post their meetings and general posts are few and far between. However, I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Mike Kincaid's fb group "I love plant propogation". I believe it's up around 12,000 members worldwide and very easy to share successes or ask questions.

  9. the thing with the simple disagreement in the church really is the reason for so many churches. any bit of disagreement, people that have the same different belief will go on and start their own church and maybe their own religion.

  10. Great info here! I am a member of the Houston Orchid Society and there is a pretty healthy membership. They have been implementing many of the items you mention here and are always tweaking things here and there. Thanks for posting this. Hopefully many more people can see this and use it as food for thought.

  11. A great topic, well presented. I have never been involved in any garden clubs but many other non profit groups over the years in my area. Most have been very cliquey so imagined that would also be the case in the gardening world. It is a sad state of the times which does not reflect well on society today as a whole.

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